Thursday, December 17, 2009

Alternatives for Benjie Molina?

The great Ken Rosenthal asked today "Do the Mets Have Alternatives for Benjie Molina?"
The Mets will not give free-agent catcher Bengie Molina a three-year contract. The question is whether reasonable alternatives even exist for both parties.

Few teams need catchers, and probably none is willing to give Molina, 35, a three-year deal. The Mets, meanwhile, probably cannot find a better catcher than Molina in either free agency or trade.
But to me the real question at hand is this: does Benjie Molina have any alternatives to the Mets? As Rosenthal notes, there is no team out there that's willing to give Molina a three year contract (Mets included), but despite this, Molina is holding out hope that the Mets will cave in and give him a three year deal out of desperation.

This is undoubtedly a risky ploy by Molina, who must think that he has the Mets right where he wants them, desperate and with limited catching options. However, if the Mets opt not to sign Molina, then the market for Benjie Molina all of a sudden becomes very murky. Are there any teams out there that would give Molina a two year contract besides the Mets?
  • The Mariners might have interest, but given Molina's low OBP and declining defensive skills, I'm not sure if Molina is a fit here.
  • Because of the injury to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Rangers might have interest, but I don't think they'd be willing to commit to Molina for two years.
  • The Astros seem content to go into the season with Towles and Quintero behind the plate and with Jason Castro on the rise, a two year deal for Molina seems far fetched here.
  • The Rockies were willing to give Yorvit Torrealba a two year deal, but the two sides seem far apart because of $400,000. Molina could be an option here as a platoon player, but probably only for one year because Chris Iannetta is signed for the next three.
Moral of the story: take the two year contract from the Mets, Benjie. Don't be greedy.

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