Jose Molina Rumors
Links for Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, which are taking place in Indianapolis...
- Add Robb Quinlan to the list of utility men on the Rockies' radar, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports names Melvin Mora as another target. MLB.com's Lyle Spencer tweets of interest from the Twins in Quinlan.
- The Mariners' deal for Chone Figgins is official, tweets the Brock & Salk show. The team press release notes it's a four-year deal with an option for 2014.
- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa acknowledged interest in Miguel Tejada, talking to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. By the way, Astros GM Ed Wade is certain he won't re-sign Tejada, tweets Alyson Footer. Tejada apparently wants multiple years.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers are considering free agent catchers such as Rod Barajas, Jason Kendall, Yorvit Torrealba, and Jose Molina.
- WEEI's Alex Speier passes along Scott Boras' comments from an XM Radio appearance. Boras discussed Matt Holliday, Johnny Damon, Ivan Rodriguez, and Adrian Beltre.
- The Brewers are discussing relievers Kevin Gregg and Mike Gonzalez at least internally, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. The Crew recently lost reliever Mark DiFelice for the 2010 season. Gonzalez would cost good money and the Brewers' second-round pick (currently #50).
- Yahoo's Kevin Kaduk asks whether Twitter is helping or hurting the Winter Meetings. My opinion: hurting. The information crush was tolerable when reporters all got blogs a few years back, but now it's excessive. Of course, we're not helping.
- Jamey Carroll would love to play for the Reds but hasn't received an offer yet, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- The D'Backs offered Chris Snyder to the Rangers for C.J. Wilson and were turned down, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Wilson tweets that he's "borderline offended" by Arizona's offer.
- The Pirates have had further talks with free agent hurler Justin Duchscherer, says Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but don't expect him to sign soon. We learned yesterday that the Rockies have cooled on Duchscherer. Kovacevic also reports that despite scouting Aroldis Chapman, the Pirates are not a player for him. ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. indicates that Chapman will be showcased in Houston later this month.
- The Rays and White Sox discussed a Carlos Quentin-Carl Crawford trade, says Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Manager Ozzie Guillen implies that nothing is cooking on that front though. The two clubs also discussed closer Bobby Jenks, but the Rays did not like the asking price.
- Angels GM Tony Reagins admitted to interest in Hideki Matsui, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. Keep in mind, though that the Japanese press is apparently grilling every GM on Matsui. Reagins also said he hasn't ruled out re-signing Vladimir Guerrero.
- Carl Pavano explained his decision to accept arbitration from the Twins, in an email to Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggests retaining Pavano makes Glen Perkins expendable.
- The Rangers are not interested in trading for Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post tells us why the Yankees weren't serious about Mark DeRosa and adds a couple other rumors:
- They never made a strong push for DeRosa, since they had no logical place to put him.
- The Yankees will have three catchers when Jose Molina joins Francisco Cervelli and Jorge Posada, but they have no plans to deal Molina.
- They would consider promoting Shelley Duncan, who has 21 homers in Triple A, if they want a right-handed bat.
3:11pm: It's official now; as MLB.com's B.J. Rains reports, Molina's headed to the DL.
11:27am: When the Yankees lost Jorge Posada to the DL for two to three weeks, Jose Molina became their starter. Now, Molina's quad is injured and, as Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News reports, Joe Girardi isn't optimistic about the injury. This leaves the Yankees with Francisco Cervelli behind the plate, a 23-year-old with a solid minor league resume, but only 41 games played above A ball and seven big league plate appearances. So what should the Yankees do if Molina has to spend time on the DL?
- Let Cervelli play until Posada returns in a couple weeks.
- Sign a free agent catcher like Johnny Estrada or Paul Lo Duca to fill in.
- Trade for a catcher.
- Jorge Posada could rejoin the Yankees as early as Wednesday (a few reports suggested Tuesday). Kat O'Brien of Newsday says the Yanks will hold on to both Jose Molina and Chad Moeller for "a while" after Posada returns, but as Peter Abraham points out on the LoHud Yankees blog, the Yankees have a real need for a set-up man now that Joba Chamberlain is starting.
- Juan Uribe has been activated from the 15-day DL, and although Ozzie Guillen said he wasn't guaranteed playing time, they had to make room on the roster nonetheless. DeWayne Wise was designated for assigment.
- The news that Clay Buchholz has been optioned to Pawtucket comes as a shock to yours truly, but it underscores just how much starting pitching the Red Sox have right now, even with Daisuke Matsuzaka currently on the 15-day DL. Free agent pickup Bartolo Colon has worked out so far as a low-risk, high-reward signing. They've also got a good spot-starter in Justin Masterson, currently in Double A. And as if that weren't enough, Curt Schilling could start throwing off a mound June 6. The odd man out could bring something useful in a trade. Just idle speculation, and I know there's no such thing as too much pitching...but the Red Sox do have some holes to fill.
Buster Olney wonders whether Jorge Posada will have to spend most of the season DHing, and at the same time his backup Jose Molina may be DL-bound. Sure, the Yankees could just make do with internal options until Molina returns in a few weeks. But it's also possible that Brian Cashman will look for outside help.
Trade possibilities include Bengie Molina, Ramon Hernandez, Humberto Quintero, Brayan Pena, and Gerald Laird. Laird may be off the table, as the Rangers wait to see if his offensive resurgence lasts and give Jarrod Saltalamacchia more time. Molina and Hernandez carry commitments through '09, while Pena and Quintero are backups and could be easily acquired.
The Reds may be considering a similar list of available catchers, though they are looking for more than a short-term fix.
A note from Mark Feinsand: the Yankees have signed Jose Molina to a two-year, $4MM deal. He'll obviously serve as Jorge Posada's backup.
As usual, the Denver Post's Troy E. Renck has the scoop on all things Rockies.
- The Rockies have made a two year offer to Kaz Matsui in the neighborhood of $6MM total. That's fair; we all know his home/road splits. The Cubs and Padres were named as other interested parties yesterday, but the Padres have decided to go with internal options at second base. Why the Cubs would add a second baseman is still beyond me. They already have Ryan Theriot, Mark DeRosa, Mike Fontenot, and Eric Patterson. The Cubs' plan to add speed concerns me.
- The Rox have also put in a two-year offer to Yorvit Torrealba, for roughly the same $6MM amount. It sounds like Torrealba will wait to field offers from other teams, chiefly the Mets. His agent says the Mets' offer would have to dwarf the Rockies' for him to consider it. Renck names Jose Molina, Paul Lo Duca, Jason Kendall, and Ramon Castro as backup options at catcher. I like the idea of Molina.
- Scott Boras client Matt Holliday is under Colorado's control for the 2008 and 2009 seasons, though he'll start getting quite expensive in arbitration. The Rockies will make an offer to lock him up for 2008-11 for roughly $60MM. It's fair, but with Boras talking in Holliday's ear he'll probably wait for free agency in the winter of 2009-10. They'll pay lip service to the idea that he wants to stay in Colorado but ultimately he'll take a seven year, $150MM offer from some other club. That's how I see it unfolding, at least.
- Brian Fuentes is indeed on the market; expect many teams in the mix for him. While Garrett Atkins won't be offered a multiyear contract, the Rockies won't trade him this winter.
- Finally, the Rockies have an eye on Brett Tomko to fill a swingman role.
The Yankees moved to improve their backup catching situation yesterday, acquiring 32 year-old backstop Jose Molina from the Angels for Double A reliever Jeff Kennard.
The Angels will now go with the young catching tandem of Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis. Mathis is a fine defensive catcher. While the 24 year-old regressed with the bat this year, he could still develop into an adequate regular. Molina was definitely expendable.
The Yankees have been trying to get Molina since at least May. Mike Mussina might miss Wil Nieves, but otherwise the difference should be negligible. Kennard, a nondescript 26 year-old reliever, has posted fine numbers at Double A.
The Yankees, not thrilled with Wil Nieves as Jorge Posada's backup, have expressed interest to the Angels in Jose Molina.
Molina turns 32 in June; he's caught 348 big league games to date. He was a Cubs farmhand until he release in 2000. To part with him, the Angels would have to have full confidence in the tandem of Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis. Napoli's hitting like a backup this year, while the 24 year-old Mathis is at .256/.296/.360 in Triple A. So, seems doubtful that Molina is going anywhere.
You know it's a slow news day when the best I can find is the availability of the worst Molina brother.
Bill "What's" Shaikin of the L.A. Times reports that Jose Molina of the Angels might be available if they opt to use Jeff Mathis as their backup catcher. Offensively, the 31 year-old is a complete zero (actually his bat has negative value) so it would have to be a club purely in search of defense and catching skills.
Though it makes sense because Mike Napoli and Mathis are the team's two best catchers, I haven't seen too many playoff contenders break camp with no experience behind the plate to guide their pitching staff. I would guess that if Molina is dealt it's because the Halos have found a different veteran backup.