Rays Re-Sign Jose Molina
The rumored signing of Molina was initially offered by Buster Olney of ESPN:
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in effort to retain Jose Molina. Could be a two-year deal.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 21, 2013
News of the agreement was provided by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
Jose Molina has 2-year agreement with #rays. Said to be for $4.5M for the 2.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 24, 2013
R.J. Anderson of the Process Report (full article here) says:
Molina doesn’t offer much value at the plate, but he’s an obvious asset defensively. In addition to elite receiving skills, Molina earns high marks for his staff-handling abilities. He posted an above-average caught stealing rate despite dealing with a staff that didn’t excel at holding runners—including the largely apathetic Fernando Rodney—and his issues with passed balls are overstated. Molina will be 40 years old when the contract expires.
Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times discussed the reasons why the Rays may have interest in his article Molina proves comfortable fit for Rays:
Molina’s game-calling and pitch-framing are definite benefits, and even with a dropoff to 23.3 percent, he was above average in throwing out runners. Based on Defensive WAR (wins above replacement), Molina’s .5 rating was sixth best among American League catchers with 90 or more games. (Jose Lobaton was .3. Interestingly, pitchers had basically the same ERA with either — 3.73 for Molina, 3.74 for Lobaton).
For a visual look at pitch framing: