It seemed odd that the Giants kept Buster Posey
out of the lineup Monday and Tuesday, but apparently they were showcasing Bengie Molina
for a possible trade. And it worked, as San Francisco shipped the veteran catcher to Texas for Chris Ray
and a player to be named later Wednesday night. The move is a good fit for both teams, as the Rangers have long been looking for catching help and the Giants needed to clear room for Posey.
Posey has come back to earth since collecting 20 hits in his first 45 at-bats and is hitting just .289/.314/.381 overall, but it was only a matter of time before the 23-year-old took over as the long-term catcher in San Francisco and the Giants did well to cash in Molina before his value vanished completely. Molina is 35 years old, his OPS is below .700 for the first time since 2002, and he's 22-for-115 (.191) with one homer since mid-May.
As bad as Molina has been he's still better than the .212/.311/.328 line Texas catchers have combined for and Ray has been terrible since returning from elbow surgery last year, so assuming the PTBNL is of minimal significance the deal makes some sense for the Rangers too. Molina is an impending free agent, so if he plays well they could re-sign him to another one-year deal or perhaps even get draft pick compensation if he leaves.
While the Posey era officially begins in San Francisco, here are some other notes from around baseball ...
* Erik Bedard
may be making his final rehab start when he takes the mound Thursday at Triple-A, with Don Wakamatsu saying the Mariners "are looking at starting him against Kansas City" next week. Bedard will have to avoid a setback and look decent in his final tune-up, but he pitched well in his first two rehab outings and the Mariners want him in the rotation so they can give potential trade deadline bidders time to scout the lefty.
* Juan Samuel said earlier this week that Mike Gonzalez
won't be handed the closer job once he comes off the disabled list, but that's a non-issue for now following Thursday's news that Gonzalez won't be ready until at least mid-July. He's been shaky rehabbing a shoulder injury in the low minors, so Gonzalez will likely need to string together several solid appearances against better competition before a return is possible.
* Franklin Morales
began the year filling in at closer for Huston Street
, but landed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury in mid-May and has struggled so much since returning a month ago that the Rockies demoted him to the minors Wednesday. Morales handed out seven walks and allowed seven runs in 8.1 innings since coming off the DL, so he'll try to get a handle on his career-long control problems at Triple-A.AL Quick Hits: Felix Hernandez
was brilliant Wednesday, allowing just two hits in a complete-game shutout of the Yankees ... Brett Anderson
(elbow) threw 40 pitches off a mound earlier this week and is now aiming for a late-July return ... General manager Theo Epstein indicated Wednesday that Jacoby Ellsbury
(ribs) is not close to coming off the disabled list ... Travis Snider
(wrist) went 1-for-3 in his first rehab game Wednesday at rookie-ball ... Kevin Slowey
left Wednesday's start after six innings of one-run ball thanks to a Carlos Guillen
liner off his ankle ... After a great first Triple-A outing last week, Rick Porcello
allowed five runs in his second start there ... Kerry Wood
got Wednesday off after saving three straight games, so Chris Perez
closed out the win ... Franklin Gutierrez
left Wednesday's game with an upset stomach before his first at-bat ... There's speculation that the Phillies could be targeting Jose Lopez
as a replacement for the injured Placido Polanco
... Joe Mauer
got Wednesday off, so Delmon Young
batted third for the first time with the Twins.NL Quick Hits:
Finally out of Joe Torre's doghouse
, Matt Kemp
went 3-for-4 with a homer Wednesday ... Jose Reyes
was scratched from Wednesday's lineup after tweaking his back during batting practice
... Arizona demoted Dontrelle Willis
to the bullpen Wednesday after 21 walks in 17 innings as a starter ... Manny Ramirez
(hamstring) is headed for an MRI exam
after missing Wednesday's game ... Oliver Perez
(knee) served up two homers and allowed four runs in his first rehab start Wednesday at Single-A ... Brad Lincoln
shut out the Cubs for seven innings Wednesday to notch his first MLB victory
... Clayton Richard
racked up 10 strikeouts and drove in a pair of runs as a hitter Wednesday ... Todd Helton
(back) and Brad Hawpe
(ribs) both rejoined the Rockies' lineup Wednesday ... Roy Halladay
's workhorse reputation may have hurt him Wednesday, as he allowed a career-high 13 hits in a complete-game loss ... Tom Gorzelanny
returned to the rotation with five shutout innings Wednesday before being lifted after 77 pitches ... Jeff Francis
was rocked for eight runs in three innings Wednesday after four straight solid starts ... Mark Prior
reportedly wasn't very impressive while throwing in front of scouts Wednesday.