Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, one of my favorite beat reporters, unearthed some interesting details about Bengie Molina’s new contract with the Giants:
And as I discovered today, even a small reduction in playing time could take a lot of money out of Molina’s pocket.
That’s because the veteran catcher has significant incentives built
into his $4.5 million contract. He’d earn a $250,000 bonus for his 90th
start at catcher, and additional $250,000 payouts for each five games
he starts beyond that, maxing out at 115 games. That’s six triggers
worth $1.5 million – which could bring his total earnings to $6 million.
As Baggarly notes in his piece, manager Bruce Bochy is already planning
to give Molina fewer starts this season, so what happens once June 1
arrives and the Giants no longer have to worry about Buster Posey’s
“Super Two” status? A chance to win should trump all, but he might have second thoughts about turning down $5.5 million guaranteed from the Mets.
Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta
Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.
RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole
Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.