We hear this all the time in Major League Baseball: how many years does he have left? In June, Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jose Molina will turn 38. He signed with the Rays last year, and this is the final year of his current contract. Will Molina still be with the Rays next year?
In 1993, Molina was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 14th round. He stayed with the Cubs for three seasons, then they traded him to the Los Angeles Angels organization. In 2002, he won his first World Series ring with the Angels, serving as their backup catcher to his brother Bengie Molina. He stayed with the Angels as backup catcher until they traded him to the New York Yankees.
The Yankees needed a good backup catcher for Jorge Posada. Molina was that, and hit left handed pitching well, so the Yankees were pleased with him. In 2008, Molina’s stock rose when Posada needed shoulder surgery. Put into the Yankee’s lineup full-time, Molina had an opportunity to shine in the Bronx. Playing in 100 games, Molina’s bat didn’t come close to Posada’s— Molina was .216 BA, .263 OBP, and a .313 SLG.
Molina is well known for his defensive ability; .994 fielding percentage, and framing pitches to help his team win. He also has a postseason batting avg. that’s 70 points higher than his regular season average.
He is a solid, dependable catcher, and has played with the Cubs, Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, and now with the Rays. Tampa could very well be his final stop on his tour through MLB. With young talent on the rise and Chris Gimenez having a great spring, you never know if this might be Molina’s last year with the Rays.