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The Molina trade makes sense for everyone

Jul 1, 2010, 9:06 AM EDT

My first thought when I saw that the Giants were unloading Bengie Molina on the Rangers last night: Wow, if the Mets had only gone multiple years and, like, ten million bucks, he could have been theirs! My next thought:  this works for everyone involved.

The Giants needed to find a permanent home for Buster Posey. They also needed to find a more comfortable home for Aubrey Huff. Now the former can catch, where his bat is more valuable and the latter can play first base where his glove is less vulnerable. Molina wasn’t hitting to save his life, so this is addition by subtraction as well, and now the Giants can pursue first base and/or left field options if they want to add a much-needed bat.

For the Rangers this makes sense too, if only because they are one of the few teams for which Molina represents an offensive upgrade behind the plate. The Rangers once were so rich in catching talent that there were rumors of the Red Sox shopping Clay Buchholz to Texas to get in on some of that, but for the past year it’s been a nightmare behind the plate. At least now can pencil in Molina behind the plate in the 9th spot of the order and be done fretting about it.

The Chris Ray-to-the-Giants portion of this trade is gravy. With him leaving, and a bunch of cash coming back to Texas, the deal helps the strapped Rangers take on Molina’s salary.  This morning Buster Olney tweeted that this could be a model for a more significant trade by the Rangers inasmuch as, if they send a big ugly contract like Rich Harden plus some added sweetener in the form of better prospects to, say, Seattle, they could still get someone like Cliff Lee.

Makes sense, though in the long term it kinda stinks for Rangers fans that the team has to overpay in terms of prospects simply because the guys in the suits couldn’t get their business and legal house in order fast enough. But such is the way of the world.

  1. Professor Dave - Jul 1, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    Why would anyone, under any circumstances, trade for Rich Harden and take any cash on with it?

  2. Steve C - Jul 1, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    Huff is actually doing quite well so far this season. Sure he will probably come back down to earth at some point, but do you really believe the Giants as an organization are smart enough to realize that Huff is over performing.

  3. Tracy - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    I don’t really see how Bengie the Beer Keg is an upgrade to Matt Treanor.

  4. Jonny5 - Jul 1, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    This makes some sense. Phills are looking at Haren I heard.

  5. Alex Poterack - Jul 1, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    Fangraphs disagrees that Molina is an upgrade for the Rangers:
    I’m inclined to agree with them; Molina just isn’t hitting, and I thought maybe he’s a defensive upgrade, but apparently he’s not even that. I just don’t get this trade from the Rangers’ point of view.

  6. trampslikeus - Jul 1, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    doesn’t matter if they realize it or not, their offense is so bad that even if/when he regresses, he’ll still be one of their best hitters

  7. trampslikeus - Jul 1, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    he will quite possibly regain some of last year’s touch with more regular playing time and without Buster Posey around to remind him of his declining value. He seemed to have a real problem with the Giants’ love of Posey. And Texas didn’t risk all that much for him either. I think there’s a good chance he’ll be productive for the rest of the season, and and pretty certain he’s an upgrade over what they’ve gotten thus far in the season. Low risk, high reward.

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