Matthew examined the Giants’ various options to replace Buster Posey behind the plate, noting that bringing back Bengie Molina was an iffy proposition because the hefty 36-year-old “didn’t seem to have a whole left last year” and was “awfully immobile behind the plate.”
Molina, as you might expect, is very much open to the idea of a reunion, telling Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News “heck yeah” when asked if he’d be ready to play for the Giants again.
However, as Baggarly notes “he’d probably need a few weeks in the minors first to get in game shape” and “has not received a call from the Giants and he’s not expecting one because he perceives hard feelings from the front office at how his tenure ended.”
Eli Whiteside is no one’s idea of a starting catcher, but his .229 batting average and .644 OPS in 129 career games is basically identical to Molina hitting .249 with a .623 OPS in 118 games for the Giants and Rangers last season.
From the Giants’ point of view, Molina probably isn’t worth the hassle.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.