The three catching Molinas are now down to just two. Bengie Molina made his retirement official after sitting out last season. He made his retirement official after being unable to find work for the upcoming season. His brother, Jose, has been receiving high praise since signing with the Rays this offseason. Jose Molina will most likely get most of the playing time behind the plate for the Rays this season.
Learning that Bengie retired got me wondering why the Rays didn’t make a play for him. Bengie would’ve been a second veteran catcher to go well with his brother and give the Rays a pretty good catching duo. It could just be that Bengie wasn’t that interested in playing this season, but my guess is that he just didn’t get any offers. Otherwise, he would’ve retired earlier in the offseason.
Bengie could have been a big influence on this Rays team trying to win a World Series, as he played in one with the Rangers in 2010 and also helped the Giants in 2010. His veteran presence, along with Jose’s presence, would have been huge on the Rays young pitching staff. We are hearing about how much help Jose has been with the staff, so adding another Molina would have been double the help.
Not only would his presence have been enough to warrant a look, but Bengie had a pretty decent bat. He finished his career as a .274 hitter, and while his power wasn’t great, he was still a steady bat. His numbers fell off a bit in 2010, his last season in baseball. He hit .249 in 118 games.
While his numbers were nothing special, they were good enough to provide the Rays with a good catcher to go with Jose. The Rays were certainly in the market for a catcher an had been rumored to be interested in Ivan Rodriguez, who would be similar to Bengie.
Clearly it is too late now for the Rays to do anything, as Bengie has made his retirement official, but I still wonder whether the Rays considered signing a second catching Molina. The two Molinas together could have certainly provided the Rays with a formidable tandem behind the plate.