3:33pm: Andrew Baggarly of The San Jose Mercury News tweets that the deal is now official.
THURSDAY, 3:15pm: Baseball America's Jim Callis hears from a source that Michael Main will be the player to be named later going to San Francisco (Twitter link). Main was the 24th overall selection in the 2007 draft, and was ranked as the 21st best prospect in the Rangers' system by Callis' publication before the season.
In a second tweet, Callis notes that the deal is similar to the Casey Blake-Carlos Santana trade in that the Rangers had to give up a quality prospect to get the Giants to kick in money to pay Molina's salary.
WEDNESDAY, 9:03pm: The Rangers acquired Bengie Molina and cash for Chris Ray and a player to be named later today. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported that the sides were deep in discussions about Molina and Scott Boeck of USA Today added the details soon afterwards. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News noted that the Giants will send the Rangers cash (Twitter link).
Molina, 36 in July, is hitting .257/.312/.332 this year. The Giants can shift the full-time catching duties to Buster Posey, play Aubrey Huff at first and rely on Andres Torres, Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand and Nate Schierholtz in the outfield. They don't need a catcher, but the Rangers do – Texas' backstops have hit .212/.311/.328 this year. Those numbers are eerily similar to Molina's, though there's no question that Molina's offensive track record inspires more confidence than Matt Treanor's.
Molina has about $2.3MM remaining on the $4.5MM deal he and the Giants agreed to last winter. The Rangers can add rental players, though the team's ownership transfer will limit its ability to take on long-term contracts.
Ray, who earns $975K this year, has a 3.41 ERA in 31.2 innings of work. However, the 28-year-old has walked as many batters as he has struck out (16). This is the second consecutive summer the Rangers have acquired a catcher (Ivan Rodriguez, 2009) and the second time a Molina brother has been traded (Jose Molina, 2007).