Tag: Jose Molina

Ryan Hanigan Rays

Rays place Ryan Hanigan on the disabled list


Ryan Hanigan’s strained oblique muscle didn’t get any better during the All-Star break, so the Rays have placed the catcher on the disabled list retroactive to July 9.

Tampa Bay acquired Hanigan from Cincinnati in December and quickly signed him to a contract extension, valuing his combination of pitch-framing and a .360 career on-base percentage. However, he’s hit just .212 with a .309 on-base percentage in 61 games for the Rays, who’ll now use Jose Molina again as their primary catcher.

2014 Preview: Tampa Bay Rays

Evan Longoria

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2014 season. Next up: The Tampa Bay Rays.

The Big Question: Is this a championship offense?

The Rays have led the American League in ERA two of the last three years, but offense has been a different story. In 2010, they finished third in runs per game. In 2011, they dropped to eighth. In 2012, they were 11th. Last season, they bounced back a bit, coming in ninth. Still, they were a full run per game behind the league-leading — and division rival — Red Sox.

The offseason saw no drastic steps towards improving that mark. However, instead of the typical rummaging through the bargain bin, the Rays did ante up and retain both James Loney and David DeJesus. They also added a pretty good on-base guy in Ryan Hanigan to replace Jose Lobaton and perhaps cut into a little of Jose Molina’s playing time behind the plate and a mini-Ben Zobrist in the form of Logan Forsythe, who can play all over the place while offering intriguing pop.

Still, if the Rays are going to creep back into the top half of the AL in runs scored, they’re either going to need Evan Longoria to finally have an MVP-type season or Wil Myers to become another Longoria.

Longoria is undeniably one of the AL’s best players. However, he’s also essentially the same hitter he was when he entered the league six years ago. His career highs in average, OBP, slugging, homers, doubles, RBI, runs scored and steals were all set in his first three years in the league. He’s been just fine in the three years since, but he’s never had a transcendent season. Last season, his one career high came in strikeouts; he fanned 162 times, exceeding his previous high by 22.

The 23-year-old Myers appears well on his way to developing into a 30-homer, 100-RBI guy behind Longoria in the order. What remains to be seen is whether he’ll keep hitting for average like he did after coming up last season; he was able to finish at .293 despite striking out 91 times in 88 games. If he’s a true .350-.370 OBP guy, then he should be a worthy All-Star. If he’s more of a .260 hitter and a .330-OBP guy, then he’s just a quality regular, not a star.

With no obvious weaknesses to speak of, the Rays should at least match last year’s offensive production. It should also be noted here that their rankings in runs scored, as well as the numbers of all of their hitters, are skewed by playing in Tropicana Field, which rates as one of the AL’s best parks for pitchers. But the Rays are going to need to do a bit more scoring to close the gap, and while Joe Maddon can keep helping them out with his frequent lineup changes getting the hotter players to the top of the lineup, it’s going to be up to Longoria and Myers to supply most of the power.

What else is going on?

  • One other key offensively is Desmond Jennings, who added 15 pounds of muscle over the winter and is hitting .375/.432/.575 this spring. He’s a rather flawed hitter with his tendency to chase pitches at the letters and higher, but with added power and walks (64 last year, up from 46 in 2012), he can still be a nice regular while player .250.
  • The pitching staff should boast the American League’s second strongest one-two punch, with 2012 Cy Young winner David Price and Alex Cobb both possibilities to win 18 games and post sub-3.00 ERAs. The unheralded Cobb came in at 2.76 in 22 starts last year, striking out 134 in 143 1/3 innings in the process. He’s been awesome this spring, too, striking out 16 and walking just one in 11 2/3 innings.
  • Left-hander Matt Moore is the question mark. His velocity was down last season, and while it has been up at times this spring, he’s walked 15 batters in 14 1/3 innings. The Rays can handle a little wildness from him — with one of the game’s deepest bullpens, they can survive carrying a five-inning starter — but he doesn’t look like the future Cy Young candidate he appeared to be when he entered the league.
  • Rookie Jake Odorizzi beat out Cesar Ramos for the rotation spot opened up by Jeremy Hellickson’s injury. Hellickson is expected to miss the first two months following February surgery to remove loose bodies from his elbow.

Prediction: This is a huge year for the Rays after they expanded the payroll to keep Price, Loney and DeJesus and add Grant Balfour to close; if they don’t make a lengthy run in October, they’re likely to lose money and then trade pieces next winter. They’re in good position to make that run, though; the Red Sox have lost key players from their World Series team and fellow AL contenders Detroit, Texas and Oakland have already been hit hard by injury. The Rays should be in the AL East race all year long, and if they do happen to come up a little short, a wild card spot will still be there for the taking.

First place, American League East.

Rays could trade Jose Lobaton

Jose Lobaton

With Jose Molina and Ryan Hanigan behind the dish, Jose Lobaton is now expendable and the Rays could explore trading him, writes Mark Topkin for the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin adds that, given the vagaries of the game of baseball, they’ll likely bring Lobaton to spring training in case either of their catchers suffers an injury, but could trade him to a team in need of a back-up towards the end of March.

Lobaton, 29, was quite productive for the Rays last season, posting a .714 OPS in 311 plate appearances. He isn’t nearly as capable defensively as Molina, but his bat made up for what he lacked in curtailing base-stealers and framing pitches. Lobaton was one of 19 catchers last season to take at least 300 trips to the plate and finish with an OPS of .700 or better.

2014 Free Agent Tracker

MLB: Yankees-Brian McCann Press Conference

Here’s the rundown of where this winter’s top 150 free agents are landing, continuously updated throughout the offseason. Re-signings are posted in red, while players signing with new teams are in blue.

Stars denote players who received qualifying offers and thus will cost their new team a draft pick if they sign elsewhere.

(Non-tenders have been added to the list, noted with an NT.)

All ages are as of April 1, 2014.

1. Robinson Cano (2B Yankees, 31)*: Mariners – 10 years, $240 million
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (OF Red Sox, 30)*: Yankees – seven years, $153 million
x. Masahiro Tanaka (RHP Japan, 25): Yankees – seven years, $155 million
3. Shin-Soo Choo (OF Reds, 31)*: Rangers – seven years, $130 million
4. Matt Garza (RHP Rangers, 30): Brewers – four years, $50 mil + $13 mil vesting option
5. Ervin Santana (RHP Royals, 31)*:
6. Ubaldo Jimenez (RHP Indians, 29)*:
7. Brian McCann (C Braves, 30)*: Yankees – five years, $85 mil + option
8. Curtis Granderson (OF Yankees, 33)*: Mets – four years, $60 million
9. Carlos Beltran (OF Cardinals, 36)*: Yankees – three years, $45 million
10. Hiroki Kuroda (RHP Yankees, 39)*: Yankees – one year, $16 million
11. A.J. Burnett (RHP Pirates, 37):
12. Nelson Cruz (OF Rangers, 33)*:
13. Mike Napoli (1B Red Sox, 32)*: Red Sox – two years, $32 million
14. Tim Hudson (RHP Braves, 38): Giants – two years, $23 million
15. Stephen Drew (SS Red Sox, 31)*:
16. Bronson Arroyo (RHP Reds, 37):
17. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C Red Sox, 28): Marlins – three years, $21 million
18. Joe Nathan (RHP Rangers, 39): Tigers – two years, $20 mil + option
19. Bartolo Colon (RHP Athletics, 40): Mets – two years, $20 million
20. Ricky Nolasco (RHP Dodgers, 31): Twins – four years, $49 million + option
21. Jason Vargas (LHP Angels, 31): Royals – four years, $32 million
22. Kendrys Morales (1B-DH Mariners, 30)*:
23. Brian Wilson (RHP Dodgers, 32): Dodgers – one year, $10 mil + player option
24. Dan Haren (RHP Nationals, 33): Dodgers – one year, $10 mil + vesting option
25. Scott Kazmir (LHP Indians, 30): Athletics – two years, $22 million
26. Phil Hughes (RHP Yankees, 27): Twins – three years, $24 million
27. Jhonny Peralta (SS Tigers, 31): Cardinals – four years, $53 million
28. Grant Balfour (RHP Athletics, 36): Rays – two years, $12 million
29. Scott Feldman (RHP Orioles, 31): Astros – three years, $30 million
30. Corey Hart (1B-OF Brewers, 32): Mariners – one year, $6 mil ($7 mil incentives)
31. Josh Johnson (RHP Blue Jays, 30): Padres – one year, $8 million
32. Paul Maholm (LHP Braves, 31):
33. James Loney (1B Rays, 29): Rays – three years, $21 million
34. Omar Infante (2B Tigers, 32): Royals – four years, $30.25 million
35. Joaquin Benoit (RHP Tigers, 36): Padres – two years, $15.5 million
36. Fernando Rodney (RHP Rays, 37):
37. Marlon Byrd (OF Pirates, 36): Phillies – two years, $16 mil + vesting option
38. Carlos Ruiz (C Phillies, 35): Phillies – three years, $26 million + option
39. Chris Young (OF Athletics, 30): Mets – one year, $7.25 million
40. Suk-Min Yoon (RHP Korea, 27):
x. Yoshio Itoi (OF Japan, 32): Won’t be posted
41. Roy Halladay (RHP Phillies, 36): Retired
42. Joe Smith (RHP Indians, 30): Angels – three years, $15.75 million
43. Derek Jeter (SS Yankees, 39): Yankees – one year, $12 million
44. Scott Baker (RHP Cubs, 32): Mariners – minor league deal ($1 mil + $3.25 mil incentives)
45. A.J. Pierzynski (C Rangers, 37): Red Sox – one year, $8.25 million
46. Randy Messenger (RHP Japan, 32): Staying in Japan – three-year deal
47. Jesse Crain (RHP Rays, 32): Astros – one year, $3.25 million
48. Wandy Rodriguez (LHP Pirates, 35): Pirates – exercised $13 mil player option
49. David Murphy (OF Rangers, 32): Indians – two years, $12 mil + option
50. Edward Mujica (RHP Cardinals, 29): Red Sox – two years, $9.5 million
51. Kevin Youkilis (1B-3B Yankees, 35): Signed to play in Japan
52. Chris Perez (RHP Indians, 28): Dodgers – one year, $2.3 million ($4 mil incentives)
53. Michael Morse (OF Orioles, 31): Giants – one year, $6 million
54. Justin Morneau (1B Pirates, 32): Rockies – two years, $13 million
55. Javier Lopez (LHP Giants, 36): Giants – three years, $13 million
56. J.P. Howell (LHP Dodgers, 30): Dodgers – two years, $11.25 mil + mutual option
57. David DeJesus (OF Rays, 34): Rays – two years, $10.5 mil + option
58. Mark Ellis (2B Dodgers, 36): Cardinals – one year, $5.25 million
59. Boone Logan (LHP Yankees, 29): Rockies – three years, $16.5 million
60. Jason Hammel (RHP Orioles, 31): Cubs – one year, $6 million
61. Bruce Chen (LHP Royals, 36): Royals – one year, $4.25 mil + $5.5 mil mutual option
62. Francisco Rodriguez (RHP Orioles, 32):
63. Juan Uribe (3B Dodgers, 35): Dodgers – two years, $15 million
64. Jake Westbrook (RHP Cardinals, 36):
65. Chris Capuano (LHP Dodgers, 35):
66. Carlos Marmol (RHP Dodgers, 31):
67. Dioner Navarro (C Cubs, 30): Blue Jays – two years, $8 million
68. Kelly Johnson (2B-OF Rays, 32): Yankees – one year, $3 million
69. Ryan Vogelsong (RHP Giants, 36): Giants – one year, $5 mil + $2.5 mil incentives
70. Manny Parra (LHP Reds, 31): Reds – two years, $5.5 million
70 1/2. Jose Veras (RHP Tigers, 33): Cubs – one year, $4 million + option
71. Colby Lewis (RHP Rangers, 34): Rangers – minor league deal ($2 mil + $4 mil incentives)
72. Eric Chavez (3B Diamondbacks, 36): Diamondbacks – one year,$3.5 mil + $1 mil incentives
NT. Garrett Jones (1B-OF Pirates, 32): Marlins – two years, $7.75 million
73. Michael Young (INF Dodgers, 37): Retired
74. Joe Saunders (LHP Mariners, 32):
75. Nate McLouth (OF Orioles, 32): Nationals – two years, $10.75 mil + option
76. Chad Gaudin (RHP Giants, 31): Phillies – minor league deal ($750,000)
77. Mark Reynolds (1B-3B Yankees, 30): Brewers – minor league deal ($2 mil + $500,000 incentives)
78. Scott Downs (LHP Braves, 38): White Sox – one year, $4 mil + vesting $4 mil option
79. Mike Pelfrey (RHP Twins, 30): Twins – two years, $11 million
NT: John Axford (RHP Cardinals, 31): Indians – one year, $4.5 million
80. Paul Konerko (1B White Sox, 38): White Sox – one year, $2.5 million
81. Gavin Floyd (RHP White Sox, 31): Braves – one year, $4 mil ($4.5 mil incentives)
82. Joba Chamberlain (RHP Yankees, 28): Tigers – one year, $2.5 million
83. Eric O’Flaherty (LHP Braves, 28): Athletics – two years, $7 million
84. Brian Roberts (2B Orioles, 35): Yankees – one year, $2 million
85. Kurt Suzuki (C Athletics, 30): Twins – one year, $2.75 million
86. Raul Ibanez (OF-DH Mariners, 41): Angels – one year, $2.75 million
87. Joel Hanrahan (RHP Red Sox, 32):
88. Matt Belisle (RHP Rockies, 33): Rockies – one year, $4.25 mil (option exercised)
89. Oliver Perez (LHP Mariners, 32):
90. Rafael Furcal (SS Cardinals, 36): Marlins – one year, $3 million
NT. Ronald Belisario (RHP Dodgers, 31): White Sox – one year, $3 million
91. Geovany Soto (C Rangers, 31): Rangers – one year, $3.05 million
NT. Jerome Williams (RHP Angels, 32):
92. Jason Kubel (OF-DH Indians, 31): Twins – minor league contract ($2 mil + $1 mil incentives)
NT. Ryan Webb (RHP Marlins, 28): Orioles – two years, $4.5 million
NT. J.P. Arencibia (C Blue Jays, 28): Rangers – one year, $1.8 mil + $300,00o incentives
93. Chris Carpenter (RHP Cardinals, 38): Retired
94. Franklin Gutierrez (OF Mariners, 31): Mariners – one year, $1 million
95. Jamey Wright (RHP Rays, 39): Dodgers – one year, $1.8 million
96. Edinson Volquez (RHP Dodgers, 30): Pirates – one year, $5 million
97. Rajai Davis (OF Blue Jays, 33): Tigers – two years, $10 million
98. Shaun Marcum (RHP Mets, 32): Indians – minor league deal ($1 mil + $3 mil incentives)
99. John Buck (C Pirates, 33): Mariners – one year, $1 million
100. Matt Thornton (LHP Red Sox, 37): Yankees – two years, $7 million
101. Lance Berkman (DH Rangers, 38): Retired
102. Roberto Hernandez (RHP Rays, 33): Phillies – one year, $4.5 million
103. Jeff Baker (INF-OF Rangers, 32):
104. Kevin Gregg (RHP Cubs, 35):
105. Takashi Toritani (INF Japan, 32): Remained in Japan
106. Erik Bedard (LHP Astros, 35):
107. Skip Schumaker (2B-OF Dodgers, 34): Reds – two years, $5 million
108. LaTroy Hawkins (RHP Mets, 41): Rockies – one year, $2.5 mil + option
109. Tim Stauffer (RHP Padres, 31):
110. Ryan Madson (RHP FA, 33):
111. Clint Barmes (SS Pirates, 35): Pirates – one year, $2 million
112. Willie Bloomquist (INF Diamondbacks, 36): Mariners – two years, $5.8 million
113. Delmon Young (OF-DH Rays, 28): Orioles – minor league deal ($1 mil +$750,000 incentives)
114. Ted Lilly (LHP FA, 38): Retired
115. Luke Scott (OF Rays, 35): Signed to play in Korea
116. Jose Molina (C Rays, 38): Rays – two years, $4.5 million
117. Brendan Ryan (SS Yankees, 32): Yankees – two years, $5 mil + option
118. Johan Santana (LHP Mets, 35):
119. Michael Gonzalez (LHP Brewers, 35):
120. Nick Punto (INF Dodgers, 36): Athletics – one year, $3 mil + option
121. Chad Qualls (RHP Marlins, 35): Astros – two years, $6 mil + option
122. Brayan Pena (C Tigers, 32): Reds – two years, undisclosed sum
NT. Andrew Bailey (RHP Red Sox, 29):
123. Aaron Harang (RHP Mets, 35):
124. Luis Ayala (RHP Braves, 36):
125. Jerry Hairston Jr. (INF-OF Dodgers, 37): Retired
126. Juan Carlos Oviedo (RHP Rays, 32): Rays – one year, $1.5 million
NT. Daniel Hudson (RHP Diamondbacks, 27): Diamondbacks – minor league deal
127. Kyle Farnsworth (RHP Pirates, 37):
128. Barry Zito (LHP Giants, 35):
129. David Aardsma (RHP Mets, 32): Indians – minor league deal ($1 million)
NT. Wesley Wright (LHP Rays, 29): Cubs – one year, $1.425 million
130. Yuniesky Betancourt (INF Brewers, 32): Signed to play in Japan
131. Alfredo Aceves (RHP Red Sox, 32): Orioles – minor league deal ($1.2 mil + $1.8 mil incentives)
132. Placido Polanco (3B Marlins, 37):
133. Daisuke Matsuzaka (RHP Mets, 33): Mets – minor league deal ($1.5 million)
134. Wilson Betemit (3B FA, 32): Rays – minor league deal
NT. Jayson Nix (INF Yankees, 31): Rays – minor league deal
135. Brett Myers (RHP Indians, 33):
136. Jeff Karstens (RHP Pirates, 31):
137. Roy Oswalt (RHP Rockies, 36):
138. Juan Pierre (OF Marlins, 36):
139. Octavio Dotel (RHP Tigers, 40):
140. Frank Francisco (RHP Mets, 34):
NT. Tommy Hanson (RHP Angels, 27):
141. Clayton Richard (LHP Padres, 30):
142. Reed Johnson (OF Braves, 37): Marlins – minor league deal
143. Wil Nieves (C Diamondbacks, 36): Phillies – one year, $1.125 million
144. Grady Sizemore (OF FA, 31): Red Sox – one year, $750,000 ($5.25 mil incentives)
145. Tsuyoshi Wada (LHP Orioles, 33): Cubs – minor league contract
NT. Lou Marson (C Indians, 27): Phillies – minor league contract
146. Yorvit Torrealba (C Rockies, 35):
147. John Lannan (LHP Phillies, 29): Mets – minor league contract ($1.5 mil)
148. Andres Torres (OF Giants, 36):
149. Jamey Carroll (INF Royals, 40): Nationals – minor league contract
150. Rich Hill (LHP Indians, 34):

Signed pre-rankings:

Jose Abreu (1B Cuba): White Sox – six years, $68 million
Tim Lincecum (RHP Giants): Giants – two years, $35 million
Alexander Guerrero (INF Cuba): Dodgers – four years, $28 million
Ryan Sweeney (OF Cubs): Cubs – two years, $3.5 million + option
Jason Frasor (RHP Rangers): Rangers – one year, $1.5 million

Other signings:

Matt Albers (RHP Indians): Astros – one year, $2.45 million + option
Felipe Paulino (RHP Royals): White Sox – one year, $1.75 million
Casey McGehee (3B Japan): Marlins – one year, $1.1 million
David Cooper (1B FA): Indians – one year, undisclosed sum
Jason Giambi (DH Indians): Indians – minor league contract
Munenori Kawasaki (2B Blue Jays): Blue Jays – minor league contract
Jonathan Sanchez (LHP FA): Cubs – minor league contract
Chris Snyder (C Orioles): Nationals – minor league contract
Chien-Ming Wang (RHP FA): Reds – minor league contract

Chris Young (RHP Nationals): Nationals – minor league contract

Rays get Ryan Hanigan from Reds, Heath Bell from Diamondbacks in three-team deal

Ryan Hanigan Getty

UPDATE: Not only are the Rays getting Hanigan from the Reds as their new starting catcher, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that they’re also getting reliever Heath Bell from the Diamondbacks as part of a three-team trade.

Bell has become sort of a punchline in recent years, but he was quietly fairly effective for Arizona with a 4.11 ERA and 72/16 K/BB ratio in 66 innings. He served up too many homers, but the bat-missing and control are certainly enough to think he can give the Rays some solid innings.

Rosenthal says the rest of the three-team swap includes the Diamondbacks getting Single-A right-hander Justin Choate and a player to be named later from the Rays and the Reds getting left-hander David Holmberg–a decent prospect who made his MLB debut in August–from the Diamondbacks. And of course there’s money changing hands to pay for Bell’s salary.


Tampa Bay just re-signed Jose Molina to a two-year, $4.5 million deal, but the Rays aren’t done at catcher. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that they’re acquiring Ryan Hanigan from the Reds.

Hanigan has long been underrated because of his excellent on-base skills, but he hit just .198 in 75 games this year at age 32. However, he posted an on-base percentage above .350 in each of the previous six seasons and Hanigan’s career mark of .359 ranks sixth among all active catchers. He also grades out very well in pitch-framing, which the Rays emphasized in signing Molina in the first place.

He’ll presumably take over as the Rays’ primary backstop, with Molina sliding into more of a true backup role that he filled for so many years before getting a bigger opportunity in Tampa Bay recently. Jose Lobatan, who appeared in 100 games for the Rays this year, is likely now trade bait.

This move signals that Cincinnati is ready to hand the starting job to 25-year-old former top prospect Devin Mesoraco, with free agent pickup Brayan Pena backing him up.