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UPDATE: Padres reach out to Bengie Molina, who wants guaranteed deal

Mar 7, 2011, 8:29 PM EST

Texas Rangers' Bengie Molina hits a two out three run home run as New York Yankees' Francisco Cervelli waits for the ball during the sixth inning during Game 4 of their Major League Baseball ALCS playoff series in New York Reuters

The Padres hoped that Gregg Zaun would feel well enough after shoulder surgery to back up primary catcher Nick Hundley this season, but they are back to the drawing board now that the 39-year-old backstop has announced his retirement.

However, they can probably cross one option off their list.

Dan Hayes of the North County Times hears that the Padres did indeed reach out to Bengie Molina — confirming a report by Marty Caswell of XX1090 Sports Radio in San Diego — but were told that “he is retired.”

UPDATE: This could be some haggling on the part of Molina, as Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News spoke with the veteran catcher today, who said he’s “definitely not retired.”

There were some rumors earlier this winter that Molina was considering backing up his younger brother Yadier in St. Louis, but it looks like he’ll be comfortable calling it a career unless he can get a guaranteed deal for a fair salary.

Molina, 36, batted .249/.297/.326 with five homers and 36 RBI over 416 plate appearances between the Giants and Rangers last season, so it’s easy to see why he didn’t receive much interest this winter. If he’s truly done, he’ll hang ‘em with two Gold Glove awards, a .275 career batting average, 1,317 hits and 144 home runs over 13 major league seasons. Oh, and he hit for the cycle last July.

As for the Padres, Rob Johnson, who was acquired from the Mariners in December, appears to be the in-house favorite for the backup job right now, though non-roster invitees Kyle Philips and Guillermo Quiroz could also be in the mix.

  1. Richard In Big D - Mar 7, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    It should also be noted that Bengie also has 2 WS Rings. A fine career, even if finished.

    • cur68 - Mar 7, 2011 at 9:34 PM

      True about the rings. He was the one guy I’ve ever heard of who was guaranteed a ring, no matter how the series turned out. If I had my life to live over I’d change my name to Molina, learn to be a catcher and let fate take over from there.

    • D.J. Short - Mar 7, 2011 at 10:13 PM

      Indeed. Would be quite a way to go out!

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