Bengie Molina Signs with Giants
This is a good thing, from the perspective that — for once — the Mets did not grossly overpay a free agent. On the other hand, it’s a little sad knowing that the Mets outbid the Giants, yet still lost out on him.
In other words, at least one thing has not changed since Omar Minaya took over as Mets GM: free agents still have little desire to play in Flushing unless they are over-compensated.
Mo’ money is the only reason Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran signed with the Mets in the 2004-2005 offseason — just like it was the only reason Tom Glavine signed two years prior. Just like it was the only reason Billy Wagner, Francisco Rodriguez, and most recently, Jason Bay, chose the “other” team in NYC.
But still, it is a good thing. The only way Bengie Molina was signing with the Mets was if they gave him at least two, possibly three, guaranteed years. The Mets held firm, believing he had no other options (I believed the same). Molina called their bluff. That’s OK — sometimes the best moves you make are the ones you don’t.
Molina counted on getting a contract similar to, or better than, the one Pudge Rodriguez received from the Nationals. What he didn’t count on was the fact that few teams other than the Nats and Mets were desperately seeking a backstop. The Mets counted on Molina caving in to their one-year offer, because they also counted on Brian Sabean sticking to his sailed-ship quote. I have to admit, it seemed to me to be an inevitable conclusion that Molina would wind up a Met this winter — color me pleasantly surprised.