Tag: bengie molina

Catcher: Now What?

You know the saying, “be careful what you wish for — you just may get it” ?

We all wished the Mets would fail in their attempt to sign Bengie Molina, and our prayers were answered. But, now who will be the backstop?


Bengie Molina Signs with Giants

It turns out that Bengie Molina was not prepared to leave his heart in San Francisco. Further, it turns out that the ship that sailed from the bay could in fact return to shore.

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.


Castro, Church Off the Table

Forget about the ironic pipe dream of platooning Jeff Francoeur with Ryan Church in right field next year — Church has signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Additionally, you can drop the possibility of Ramon Castro returning to the Mets to bolster their second-string catching depth, since Castro has re-signed with the White Sox.

In other news, the Mets are not the only team scouting Carlos Delgado this winter. The Blue Jays are keeping tabs as well, so a return to Toronto is a possibility for the hobbling slugger. Since some people claim that Delgado is “not moving well”, his best landing spot may be in the AL where he can DH. But, I don’t remember Delgado EVER “moving well”, even when healthy, so take that scouting report with a grain of salt. I’d prefer to hear from someone who has been watching Delgado for the past three years, and is familiar with the fact his feet move like cinderblocks in oatmeal.

Speaking of former Blue Jays, the latest rumor is that Orlando Hudson is being courted by the Washington Nationals. Those Nats are quietly building what could turn out to be a pesky club. If they add O-Hud and one more veteran starter, they might have enough to jump out of the cellar. Color me concerned.

The last update to report is that Bengie Molina has supposedly lowered his contract demand to two years. Surprisingly, his door is still firm on its hinges, with no one racing to break it down. I’m still looking for the team that’s willing to give him more than one year guaranteed.


Putz and Kendall Sign

jjputz-sadJ.J. Putz agreed to terms with the White Sox on a one-year, $3M contract plus incentives. Heck, at that price I would’ve liked to have seen him return to the Mets, who paid for his surgery and rehab. Oh well.

But hey, the Mets won’t miss the 7 players they sent to Seattle and Cleveland for the pleasure of 29 innings thrown by Putz and 161 at-bats by Jeremy Reed. And hey, there’s a good chance Sean Green returns to the Mets bullpen in 2010, so the deal wasn’t a complete loss. Meh.

In other news, Jason Kendall signed a two-year, $6M deal with the Kansas City Royals. I realize Kendall wasn’t the “sexy” choice among the free-agent backstops, but he wasn’t the worst either. The price and the two-year commitment seems steep for a 36-year-old catcher who makes Luis Castillo seem like a power hitter.

You could argue that the relatively expensive cost Kendall gives Bengie Molina leverage, but I believe just the opposite. Signing Kendall takes the Royals off the board in regard to the tiny and ever-shrinking demand for starting catchers. The only teams left who are definitely in the market for a veteran everyday receiver are the Giants (who publicly stated “that ship has sailed”), Astros, and Mets. The Rangers might be in play as well — despite having youngster Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia — but we haven’t heard any buzz about them going after Molina. So really it comes down to the Mets and the Astros, with Molina, Miguel Olivo, Rod Barajas, and Yorvit Torrealba all available — though, most believe that Torrealba will re-sign with the Rockies to platoon with Chris Iannetta.

Not to be ignored is the fact that Dioner Navarro — among others — may be non-tendered soon, swelling the pool of available catchers a bit more.

That said, you have to hope that the contract offer tendered by the Mets to Molina this past week was for one guaranteed year and an easily digestible salary. Anything else is bad business, since the supply exceeds the demand.


The Mafia’s Team?

While some ignoramuses accuse Omar Minaya of favoring latino ballplayers (no, we’re not going there, not ever), MopUpDuty wonders if J.P. Ricciardi’s reign with the Toronto Blue Jays was focused on building an all-Italian team

Metsgrrl reveals the results of her in-depth survey researching why Mets fans are not renewing their ticket plans.

On a related subject, Dan Twohig at MetsPolice received an answer from the Mets regarding his letter to Fred Wilpon

24 Hours from Suicide asks Omar Minaya not to “jump the gun” on Bengie Molina, noting the availability of Dioner Navarro

In contrast, Ed at MetsFever makes clear he’s in support of Bengie Molina


Where’s the Market for Bengie Molina?

bengie-molina-mugIt’s no secret that the plodding Bengie Molina is the #1 choice of Omar Minaya to be the Mets’ starting catcher in 2010. However, talks appear at a standstill as Molina is looking for a three-year deal — something the Mets are intelligently refusing. So far.

Does it make sense for the Mets to stick to their guns, and play hardball with Bengie Molina?

First of all, we need to get past the argument of whether


Free Agent Evaluation: Catchers

Despite already having a competent backup in Omir Santos, the Mets have signed two backup catchers — Chris Coste and Henry Blanco — and are in the market for a starting backstop. We know Omar Minaya has his eye on Bengie Molina, but he’s not the only one out there. Let’s go through the top targets.