Molina deal set at $1.5-million
UPDATE, 4:35: Molina said he was excited to join the Rays after playing against them the last few seasons, and to be reunited with manager Joe Maddon, who was a coach when they were with the Angels. Molina also said he welcomed, and actually relished, the chance to be a mentor to the Rays young catchers. And he is willing to do whatever the Rays need him to do in terms of playing time, and will be prepared to play 162 games. He made it clear he takes immense pride in his defense, especially controlling the running game. "That is my game,'' he said. "I take a lot of pride in it.''
UPDATE, 12:10: The Rays have made the Molina deal official with a press release.
“Jose has been one of the best defensive catchers in baseball over the past decade, and his presence will bring even more stability to our defense, and he will, of course, be a great asset to our young pitchers,” executive VP Andrew Friedman said in a statment.
BREAKING: The Rays deal with free-agent C Jose Molina is all set pending the official announcement from the team.
Molina will get a $1.5-million salary in 2012, and the Rays hold a $1.5-million option for 2013, with a $300,000 buyout.
With John Jaso traded to Seattle and Kelly Shoppach's option declined, Molina is in line to be the Rays primary catcher.
Molina, who will turn 37 next season, has been a member of several successful teams, but has never started more than 81 games in a season behind the plate.
Jose Lobaton, who played in 14 games for the Rays last season, is likely the top candidate to share playing time with Molina.