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’.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.