Bengie Molina retired for now, will consider comeback

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Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reported earlier this month that the Padres were looking into signing catcher Bengie Molina to serve as a backup to Nick Hundley but found the veteran free agent to be in “retirement mode.”

He remains in that “mode.”

Molina told Kevin Davidoff of Newsday this weekend that he has not yet filed retirement papers and is open to returning if the right situation were to present itself, but also that playing baseball is not something he is thinking about right now.

Molina has a wife and three daughters who have seen him only sparingly over the past 13-plus years.

“A lot of my teammates and friends want me to come back,” Molina said. “I love the game. It gave me life … I wish I could be playing right now. But I’ve got other priorities right now. It could be how Pedro [Martinez] did it halfway through (2009), something like that. It’s not like I’m planning on doing that. If it comes up, and I’m ready to go, I’ll do it.”

Molina, 37 in July, batted just .249 with a .297 on-base percentage and five home runs across 118 games last season. He did, however, slug 20 home runs in 2009 for San Francisco.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.