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Jose Molina signing with Rays “appears imminent”

Nov 23, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

Jose Molina AP

Last week Jose Molina was said to be negotiating a deal with the Rays and now Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times reports that an agreement “appears imminent.”

Molina would back up John Jaso, essentially replacing fellow right-handed-hitting free agent Kelly Shoppach. Molina lacks Shoppach’s power and ability to knock around left-handed pitching, but he remains a big asset defensively at age 36.

Molina started 48 games for the Blue Jays this year, earning $1.2 million, and Smith speculates that he’ll get a one-year deal for similar money from the Rays. Tampa Bay previously declined a $3.2 million option on Shoppach to make him a free agent.

  1. bobdira - Nov 23, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Here’s hoping Lobaton, Chirinos or another up and comer can step up. I don’t see a big upside to Molina v. Shoppach.

  2. cur68 - Nov 23, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Gonna miss old Jose on the Beaver Men. He’s my favoritist Molina ever. Given his limited opportunities to bat, he actually was pretty effective when he came up. Hope he has a great career with the Rays.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 23, 2011 at 5:51 PM

      He is a type B free agent so the Jays will get an extra draft pick for him. After next year’s draft, there will no longer be Type A and Type B free agents.

      • cur68 - Nov 23, 2011 at 6:00 PM

        Man, that’s a Molina all the way: no matter what, he’s helping the club. I’m glad to be faux-related to the guy.

  3. littledill - Nov 23, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Jose Molina is a nice backup catcher. I always thought he gives the pitcher a good target to throw at, and he has been surprisingly clutch at the plate the last couple years. This would be a smart move by Tampa.

  4. steve7921 - Nov 25, 2011 at 8:11 AM

    Aaron, I think your definition of “knock around” and mine are very different… 176 is not what I would call knock around.

    Hopefully Lobaton can win the job from Jaso in the spring because Jaso and Shoppach last year earned their nickname as the “Deadliest Catchers”

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