Discussion: Bengie Molina

Following Starlin Castro's 6-RBI debut with the Cubs last night, Giants fans have to be wondering when they'll see their own top prospect, Buster Posey, arrive in the bigs. Bengie Molina left this afternoon's game at Citi Field with a tight left hamstring, and whether or not the injury requires a roster move, the calls for Posey's promotion will only grow louder.

With Posey likely ticketed for San Francisco sometime in the coming days or weeks, the Giants will have to decide how they'll balance playing time between their young backstop and the incumbent, Molina. While Posey can also play some first base, his real value is as an offensive catcher. However, the Giants won't be inclined to keep Molina on the bench too often if the veteran continues to perform like he has so far (.325/.396/.450).

Although Molina has enjoyed some early-season success on the field, he seems unhappy with his situation. The 35-year-old has recently expressed regrets about not landing with the Mets and talked about retiring after the 2010 campaign. You'd have to think the prospect of losing playing time to Posey would only make things worse for Molina.

So if Posey is promoted and proves capable of handling the Giants' staff and hitting in the majors, would the Giants think about moving Molina? ESPN.com's MLB Rumors page suggests the Red Sox, Yankees, and Mariners could be among the clubs in the market for a catcher, and Molina's contract situation is more favorable than some. Chris Snyder, for instance, is guaranteed $11.25MM over the next two years, while Molina is earning $4.5MM on a one-year deal.

There have been no indications yet that Giants would consider shopping Molina, but if Posey thrives upon eventually arriving in San Francisco, Molina could be an interesting trade chip. Which teams do you think might inquire about Molina's availability? Will he still be a Giant in September?

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16 Comments on "Discussion: Bengie Molina"

5 years 3 months ago

Won’t have to worry about it. The Giants are not bold enough to make a move like this. Even if Buster comes up and plays well, Bengie will just whine his way into the lineup even more.

5 years 3 months ago

Im tired of hearing crybaby molina.Its time to bring posey up.

Mario Saavedra
5 years 3 months ago

it’s not cool calling Molina “incumbent” considering that Molina has worked for the giants for more than 3 years. People shouldn’t complain that players are not loyal to their team, when they are the first ones to want to ditch a player for a younger top prospect.

5 years 3 months ago

Complains he didn’t get more money… complains there is a top prospect behind him; a known situation when he signed… complains, saying he wanted to sign elseware if they had just given him more money…

yeah, talk about player loyalty!

5 years 3 months ago

Actually it wasnt really about the money he was upset the mets didnt guarantee him 2 years its more about the years then money

5 years 3 months ago

This team is living off it’s chemistry…Bengie’s constant complaining to the media is too much.

I know the Giants don’t want to start Posey’s arbitration clock yet, but it may be time to start shopping Bengie….Sell high.

5 years 3 months ago

Doesn’t incumbent mean that he’s currently holding the position?
How is that not cool?

5 years 3 months ago

i was gonna say the same thing

fyi –

im loving how the mets win both games from game winning shots from both of their catchers…

barajas and blanco make a fraction of what the giants are paying molina…

where are the minaya haters when u need them…lol

Mario Saavedra
5 years 3 months ago

1 : the holder of an office or ecclesiastical benefice
2 : one that occupies a particular position or place

my bad >_>’ (shame on me)

5 years 3 months ago

If Molina hits the 15-Day DL, the Giants will indeed call up Posey for the home stand and trot him out there.

Sandoval also needs some rest! Even though Bochy and the Panda himself says that he’s fine you can tell he is tiring. There was a situation last year when Panda was in a slump and they rested him, and boom he was right back in it. Let the Panda clear his head and give him a day to relax. I mean the offense is scoring without him, so it won’t us if he doesn’t play tomorrow against the Mets. Especially cause 55 is on the mound.

5 years 3 months ago

Yankees have no need for a catcher. Has anyone seen how Cervelli is playing lately?

5 years 3 months ago

Cerv is a pretty could catcher alot of people didn’t really believe in him but damn did he have a heck of a game as the red soxs 5 rbis? gotta love it outta a back up catcher i like more than Jose molina who is a great defensive catcher but everytime he was up to bat it seemed like a out

5 years 3 months ago

why move a catcher who is doing a great job handling one of the best starting staff’s in MLB? Only the Junts would consider something so silly. Let him whine…and counter the whining with floating trade rumors to the Marlins or other MLB bottom feeder and suddenly SF won’t look so awful.

Molina whining is like Lee complaining about being in Seattle…both SF & Seattle are two of the most wonderful places in the US to live, if you have money. And cripes in Seattle Lee has no state income tax…but both are nuts if their respective cites are the issue.

5 years 3 months ago

Enough already. The only name I have heard more of in the last two years than Posey is Bucholz with the Red Sox. It now seems that both will be average at best.

5 years 3 months ago

Bengie always starts hot and fades down the stretch… His build and age are just not geared towards a full season anymore, especially given that the Giants trot him out there for 130 games a season. He’ll start to slump around the start of June… just when Posey’s arbitration clock will roll over. Oh, and the Giants will save money by starting Bengie less than 115 times this year.

The Giants say they’re not playing this situation by financial lines, but if they work out in the FO’s favor they’ll absolutely take advantage of it. Considering how much they’re paying their pitchers, they have to start playing smarter with roster moves like this.

5 years 3 months ago

I hate all these discussions that seem to border along the lines of “do you still hit your wife?” They are just speculations on one thing or another that probably won’t ever come true, or worse, isn’t what that person would do, and people chase their tails and bark. All it does is shows what the fan’s true feelings about things are, and mostly it is about hating Sabean. News flash: he’s the one who put together the amazing rotation we got. That is a convenient point people seem to forget.

The Giants are not going to trade Molina. Clearly, from the statements they have made about his after signing him is that with rest he will continue to hit well later into the season. They recognize that he fades. They think that Posey is not yet built up enough to last a full major league season as a catcher. Molina has said that he wants to mentor Posey and the Giants seem to want that too.

If you read BA’s comments on Posey for this season, he’s clearly not ready defensively for the majors. He’s not going to get ready with just a month and a half worth of regular starts at catcher either.

Also, he’s not necessarily ready to hit in the majors. Just a week and a half ago, his MLE was only .732. That is not screaming “ready for the majors”. He has had a hot May so far, making his numbers look really good, but even then his MLE is still only .819, nice but only slightly above average for the majors (though above average for catchers). That is not numbers that scream “savior” for the Giants offense. And if he gets cold again, that number will fade to averageness again. There are peaks and valleys in any baseball season.

The way it seems to be playing out is that the Giants are readying Posey to come up some time this season. I think they prefer more preparation than less, but want to bring up Posey earlier so that Molina and mentor him and he can sit in the pitchers meeting and get ready to take over for Molina in 2011. That is a role that Molina said he was going to take when he signed with us. I am thinking in the one month period after the ASG.

I don’t see Posey starting full-time when he is brought up. That’s impossible if Molina is around and mentoring, and particularly impossible when the Giants have said all spring that Posey is not ready to catch a full season yet and he’s catching a lot of games in the minors already. That is just something the fans think is going to happen just because he’s a top prospect.

I think Molina will continue to start but will sit more, particularly if he’s in a slump of some sort. That’s when Posey will start at catcher more. But Posey will also get starts at 1B against tough LHP that Huff have trouble with. It would also give him rest too, late in the season, so that Posey is physically ready to hit too and not tired out.

I am also hoping that Molina can be kept fresh in this way, because then we will have either Molina or Posey on the bench during the playoffs, and one of them can DH during the World Series, if the Giants make it that far. The Giants don’t need the low-level prospect a trade would bring – if they did, they would have traded him at the end of last season – and they don’t need to save money either.

And that tweet? Seems to me like that guy just pulled something from the end of the 2009 season. That quote about Posey would fit right in with that period. It does not fit at all with what he said after signing with the Giants. And, I would mention that NONE of the local sportwriter even bothered to report on it, and they would have had it been a fresh quote from Molina about the Posey situation, as I noted, it would have been a 180 degree turn from his earlier statements and thus newsworthy.

And about the Mets, he’s been saying that since signing too, it hurt his pride that nobody was willing to sign him to multi-years. And he did not take less to sign with the Giants, he took less base ($4.5M vs. $5.5M) but has easy to make PA milestones that gets him an additional $1.5M in bonuses. So by signing with the Giants, he should get at least as much as the Mets offered once he reaches 105 starts and peaks at 115 starts, which he has for 8 of his past 10 years, even in years he was sharing significant time with another catcher.

He was also talking about retirement after signing too. Again, his feelings was hurt, so he whined a bit. But with a one year old daughter (and he can still have some more children), I’ll bet he’s not retiring until nobody is willing to hire him for more than the major league minimum, it does not have to be big money to get him to sign, I would think, it is not like he has another career waiting for him afterward, other than maybe coaching. And that does not pay that well.