Rays take familiar route at catcher

Rays take familiar route at catcher
November 28, 2013, 3:30 pm
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The Rays recently agreed to a deal to bring back catcher Jose Molina, who will share duties behind the plate with Jose Lobaton. Molina received a two-year deal worth $4.5 million.  Not bad for a 38-year-old catcher with limited offense (.233 average, .290 on-base percentage, two homers, 18 RBIs in 283 at-bats).

However, Molina is skilled at making his pitchers look good — or, more specifically, their pitches look good. As CBSSports.com wrote: “Molina is one of the game's very best at turning borderline pitches into strikes.”

That’s worth a couple of million a year right there, isn’t it?

Molina started 87 games in 2013, with Lobaton starting 76, but the Tampa Bay Times said “those numbers might flip.” Molina has spent the last two of his 14 years in the majors with the Rays, and “Familiarity obviously has its benefits,” the Times said. “The Rays felt he was better defensively than any of the other affordable free-agent options.”

He is a member of the Molina Brothers catching troupe, along with retired Bengie and the Cardinals’ Yadier.