Rays, Jose Molina Nearing One-Year Deal

The Rays are close to signing catcher Jose Molina to a one-year contract with an option for 2013, Major League sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.

Molina, 36, is a 12-year veteran who spent the past four-plus seasons in the AL East with the Yankees and Blue Jays as a backup. A defense-first catcher (redundant, I know), Molina is a career .241/.286/.344 hitter, although he posted a .281/.342/.415 line in 2011 with Toronto, albeit in 191 plate appearances.

The Rays went with a catching platoon in 2011, divvying up playing time pretty evenly between Kelly Shoppach and John Jaso. Shoppach, a free agent, will presumably sign elsewhere this offseason, according to Morosi, so Molina could perhaps take his place in that time-share, barring any other moves by Tampa Bay for a catcher.

Molina is a Type B free agent, so the Blue Jays will receive a supplemental first-round pick for losing him.


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