View Full Version : Blue Jays close to adding Bengie Molina

02-06-2006, 04:22 PM

Catcher Bengie Molina's free-agent odyssey is nearing a conclusion. The Blue Jays are close to signing Molina to a one-year, $5 million contract with a $7.5 million option for 2007, FOXSports.com has learned.

The addition of Molina, 31, will further solidify the Jays' position as a likely contender in the AL East. He will be the team's fifth major off-season addition, joining third baseman Troy Glaus, first baseman Lyle Overbay and two other free agents, right-handed starter A.J. Burnett and closer B.J. Ryan.

The Mets made Molina a three-year, $18 million offer early in free agency, then traded for catcher Paul LoDuca before conducting further discussions. Molina ultimately chose the Blue Jays over the Dodgers, who continued negotiating with him over the weekend and apparently were willing to offer a similar contract.

The Dodgers, however, have two highly regarded young catchers, Dioner Navarro and Russ Martin. Molina evidently believed he had a better chance of lasting longer with the Jays, who do not have a major-league ready catching prospect. The Angels chose not to re-sign Molina in part because of the ascent of Jeff Mathis, who will team with Molina's younger brother, Jose, this season.

Bengie Molina's arrival in Toronto will relegate Gregg Zaun to backup duty, giving the Jays one of the game's strongest catching tandems.

Molina, a right-handed hitter, reached career highs last season in batting average (.295), on-base percentage (.336), slugging percentage (.446) and home runs (15). Zaun, a switch-hitter, had career highs in home runs (11) and RBIs (61).

Both Molina and Zaun work well with pitchers, though some scouts believe that Molina's receiving skills have regressed. Molina's 3.55 catchers' ERA last season was the third-best in the majors.

02-06-2006, 05:32 PM
Zaun had himself a fine season last year, so this may be a case of overkill on the part of the Blue Jays.

Molina is looking pretty stupid for turning down that Mets deal now - but he'll still make slightly more than LoDuca.

02-06-2006, 05:35 PM
Looks like a good tandem combo for the Jays. Catching, along with pitching, is one thing you can rarely have too much of.

Looks like the Jays' owner is putting his money where is mouth is, and giving Jays fans a reason to show up next season. Good for him.

02-06-2006, 06:12 PM
they are my pick right now to win teh AL east hands down

02-06-2006, 06:15 PM
Makes you wonder whatever happened to the sure thing that was Guillermo Quiroz.

Not to mention Kevin Cash, Jayson Werth and Josh Phelps.

02-06-2006, 06:19 PM
they are my pick right now to win teh AL east hands down

They're one of my picks to fall flat and die.

Red Leader
02-06-2006, 06:31 PM
They're one of my picks to fall flat and die.

I'm in the same camp. I think they'll start the year out well and give people hope, and then I think they'll fade like a pair of Lee jeans.

02-06-2006, 06:33 PM
The expect win total for the Jays in my book is now 86-88, up from 86-88. Is he really worth 5MM when Zaun was basically the same guy already?

02-06-2006, 09:43 PM
On the flip side, it's a one year deal for 5 million, plus an option.. The Jays apparently have plenty of money. It's not like there's that many free agents to spend it on.

This is a real nice deal for them, only 5 million, and only a one year commitment.

02-06-2006, 10:29 PM
Jays will finish 2nd behind the Yankees.