The Giants are not likely to keep Molina, but that doesn't mean Buster Posey has the job

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Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News says that while the Giants would welcome Bengie Molina back, they only want to give him a single year and don’t want to give him a raise.  Molina, on the other hand, wants more money and two years.  Given that Buster Posey is waiting in the wings in San Francisco there’s no reason for the Giants to make anything approaching that kind of a commitment to Molina. And of course, given the Law of Conservation of Molinas, there will always be a roster spot for Bengie someplace else, so he’s as good as gone. Possibly to the Mets, Baggarly thinks.

Not that San Francisco is completely sold on Buster Posey yet. For reasons that remain totally baffling, the Giants sent him to the Arizona Fall League this year, where he has struggled mightily.  This, according to ESPN’s Jason Grey, is because he simply looks worn out, which is to be expected after a season behind the plate in San Jose, Fresno and San Francisco.  A great season to boot, which makes one wonder why on Earth Brian Sabean feels it necessary to put more innings on the knees and back of his top prospect.  The kid has nothing to prove apart from his mortality and injury recovery prowess, but I guess Sabean wants to test that stuff too.

Based on Sabean’s history, it’s probably also because he thinks any player under 30 is still too green to contribute at the big league level and needs some seasoning.  This is consistent with Baggarly’s speculation that the Giants are thinking about bringing in Pudge Rodriguez in the event Molina walks.  If they do, I’d bet you an order of garlic fries and an Anchor Steam that Rodriguez, and not Posey, gets the Opening Day start. 

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.