Molina deal official: 2 years, $4.5-million
The Rays late Monday made official their two-year, $4.5-million deal to bring back catcher Jose Molina.
Executive VP Andrew Friedman cited Molina's prep work and experience in guiding a young pitching staff and also said: "He has played a large role in the success that we've had on the run prevention side.''
There was interest from several teams in Molina, including the Cubs, who also made a two-year offer.
Molina will make $1,75-million in 2014, and $2.75-million in 2015, giving the Rays a slight amount of payroll flexibility this season. He also will donate $40,000 to the Rays Baseball Foundation.
Here is the team release officially announcing the deal, which was agreed to Nov. 21:
The Tampa Bay Rays have signed catcher Jose Molina to a two-year, $4.5 million major league contract. He will donate $40,000 to the Rays Baseball Foundation over the life of the contract. Molina had declared free agency before re-signing with the Rays.
The 38-year-old is a 14-year major league veteran including the last two seasons with the Rays. In 2013 he started a career-high 87 games at catcher, breaking his previous high of 81 in 2008, and made his fifth career postseason appearance. He has started 80-plus games in each of his two seasons with the Rays after averaging only 55 starts in the three seasons prior. In 99 games, he batted .233 (66-for-283) with two home runs and 14 doubles.
Molina caught 23.3 percent (17 of 73) of attempted base stealers, better than the major league average (23.1), and his career rate of 37.7 percent ranks fourth among active catchers (min. 500 games), behind his brother Yadier Molina (44.5), Henry Blanco (42.8) and David Ross (38.9). His 25 career pickoffs rank second among active catchers behind his brother, Yadier (42). Jose and Yadier played together for Puerto Rico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic as they advanced to the final round.