I was all excited when I saw the news nugget about Jose Molina nearing a deal to catch for the Rays embedded in Matthew’s post about the free agent catching market last night. Because it meant that a Molina was going to catch for a team that no Molina had ever caught for before.
So excited that I sat down to create a Molina Matrix tracking all teams that have been Molinafied since the brothers took control of the major league catching racket.
But I’m sad, now, because it seems that between Bengie, Jose and Yadier, only seven teams have been graced with Molinaness: the Jays, Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Cubs, Cardinals and Giants. Sure, the Jays and Angels have each had two Molinas, but the Molina Hegemony has not reached nearly as far as I had imagined it to have reached thus far.
If you would have asked me I would have said that there was something close to a 50% Molina Saturation Factor already. Nope. If Jose signs in Tampa Bay we will have only just barely cracked 25%. I think the latest generation of Boones might be able to challenge that themselves, and there was only two of them.
Anyway, I blame Yadier. One team? Dude, get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.
The Red Sox have more or less withdrawn from the Edwin Encarnacion sweepstakes, with Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald noting that much of their reluctance hinges on the likelihood that they’d exceed the new $195 million luxury tax threshold by locking the DH into a lucrative deal. That doesn’t leave them without options, however, and FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that the club could be interested in 29-year-old corner infielder Pedro Alvarez, as well as fellow free agents Mike Napoli and Matt Holliday.
After playing just 10 games at DH from 2010 to 2015, Alvarez suited up as the Orioles’ primary designated hitter and part-time third baseman in 2016. His defense is sub-par, to say the least, but he batted .249/.322/.504 with 22 home runs for Baltimore in 2016.
According to Heyman, the Red Sox envision using Alvarez in much the same way the Orioles did. He’d have a place as the team’s DH with the occasional infield start, while Hanley Ramirez would keep his post at first base. Whether the Red Sox make offers to Napoli, Holliday or Alvarez, they’re expected to pursue a short-term deal in order to stay under budget.
The Braves signed left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement on Sunday.
Lindgren, the Yankees’ top draft pick in 2014, was nicknamed “The Strikeout Factory” after blowing through four levels of New York’s farm system in 2014. He started the 2015 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was called up for his major league debut only two months into the 2015 season. The 22-year-old lasted seven innings with the club before succumbing to bone chips in his elbow, and underwent bone spur surgery in June before trying his luck again during spring training in 2016.
In August, the Yankees shut Lindgren down for the remainder of the season so the lefty could undergo Tommy John surgery. With a projected return date of 2018, Lindgren was non-tendered by the Yankees on Friday.
While the Braves won’t get the benefit of Lindgren’s top prospect skill set in their bullpen anytime soon, he will remain under club control if they keep him on their 40-man roster beyond the 2017 season (per ESPN’s Keith Law).