The Rays never really had a catching hole because they signed Jose Molina pretty quickly. They’ll pay him $1.5 million for another year and then there’s a club option for 2013 at another $1.5 million.
It’ll be interesting how much time Molina gets. He’s been used primarily as a backup for the better part of his career so my bet is he ends up splitting time with one of the younger backstops. Still, Molina is never going to win a batting title, but he hit .281 last year and he’s one of the best defenders in the game. I like the move because it’s low cost, just for a year and it frees up some much needed funds for some other spots where the Rays need help at.
The Rays traded catcher John Jaso to the Mariners for an infamous player to be named later (or cash consideration) as well as right handed pitcher Josh Lueke. This is a solid pickup because the Rays have some options at catcher and in exchange they get a younger right handed reliever. Lueke had a really nice second half of the season after a rough start. Still, this kid could be a keeper.
He’s got three solid pitches and he ended up on the PCL All Star Team last year. If you look at his second half when he got called back up to the Mariners, he had a 3.42 ERA in 17 appearances with a solid 21 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s probably not going to be a Major League all star, but he’s probably good enough to help round out the pen or make a reserve if someone goes down.
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