Molina working on 2-year deal to return
The Rays and Jose Molina are close to deal that would bring the veteran catcher back for two more years, the Times has learned.
Molina, 38, spent the last two seasons with the Rays, starting a career high 87 games in 2013 while hitting .233 with two home runs and 18 RBIs. His forte is considered his defense, specificially his pitch-framing ability.
In returning for 2014, Molina will again share time with Jose Lobaton. Their opportunities will be primarily matchup based, though Lobaton, who hit .249 with seven homers, is likely to get more playing time.
Molina had interest from other teams, but liked the situation playing with the Rays and for Joe Maddon, and the chance to work with the talented pitchers on the staff. With an unimpressive pool of talent on the second-tier free-agent market, the Rays obviously felt more comfortable sticking with Molina. A trade for Cincinnati's Ryan Hanigan also seemed to be a possibility.
Molina made $1.8-million last season when the Rays picked up his option after making $1.5-million in 2012. Terms of the new deal are not yet finalized. An annoucement seems likely next week. ESPN's Buster Olney first reported the team and Molina were in talks.
Also, MLB announced the postseason playoff shares. From a pool of $2,037,228.92, the Rays voted 46 full shares of $35,280.10; plus 11.11 partial shares and seven cash awards.