All season long the talk around the Rangers is that they need to acquire a big name player such as Cliff Lee or Roy Oswalt. I think finally the Rangers finally figured out their biggest weakness today when they supposedly sent Chris Ray and a player to be named later to the Giants in exchange for veteran catcher BengieMolina. I read about his on MLB.com and it was reported by Foxsports.com and USA Today. Granted it is probably true, I am not a 100% sure just yet.
Chris Ray has been strong so far this season for the Rangers; although he no stranger to being traded. He was sent from the Baltimore Orioles to the Rangers in exchange for Kevin Millwood. As of last check Millwood has had a pretty poor season with the Orioles so it was probably a good move for the Rangers. The Rangers bullpen seems to be a strong point for the team so they will benefit more from a catcher and just have a reliever step up.
Early this season there was speculation that another one of the Molina brothers, Jose was going to sign with the Rangers after spending the previous two seasons as backup to Jorge Posada with the Yankees. He eventually signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for what was probably more money. As all fans know, the Rangers are broke and there is not much to spare.
At the beginning of the season the Rangers had decided to go with a platoon of Jarrod Saltlamacchia and Taylor Teagarden at catcher. Saltlamacchiacaught the opening day start from Scott Feldman who is also not having that great of a season and, Saltlamaccia eventually went onto the disabled list and since returning from the disabled list he has spent the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Tegarden attempted to fill in at catcher with Matt Treanor backing him up, but Treanor eventually starting catching more and Teagarden was then sent to Triple-A to join Saltlamacchia. Traenor has spent most of his career at a backup and he has struggled somewhat offensively hitting .237 with five home runs and 23 RBI’s in 156 at bats.
When the Rangers sent Teagarden down to Triple-A they called up catching prospect Max Ramirez to fill in as Treanor’s back-up. In all regards with the struggles of Saltlamacchia and Teagarden it appears that Ramirez may be the catcher of the future for the Rangers.
If the Rangers do indeed acquire Molina, he only signed a 1 year 4.5 million deal before the beginning of season and is not under contract next season. I am sure if he does come over and he does well he could end up coming back next year to give Ramirez some seasoning before assuming the starting role.
The acquisition of Molina puts the Rangers in somewhat of a odd situation. They have Treanor and Ramirez with the big league club and I don’t seem them carrying three catchers. At Triple-A they have Saltlamacchia and since last time I checked Teagarden has been demoted to Double-A.
I can see several different things happening, the best option I feel would be to send Ramirez back down to Triple-A to work on his game and keep Treanor on as a backup. The next option would be to send Treanor down and keep Ramirez as the back-up. I feel that Triple-A won’t do much for Treanor other than provide him with a pay check. So he might end up being released or shipped to another team.
One thing I do feel that no matter what does happen if Molina is acquired it will provide a domino effect and somebody I feel is going to be released. The one person who I could see being released the most is Teagarden, just because he has been up and down all season and he is not really doing the Rangers any good at Double-A. I know this may sound crazy but I feel the Rangers will get more out of Saltlamaccia over the long run; although his time in the organization could be fading quickly. No matter what does happen the Rangers definitely need a solid catcher and Molina can provide that to them.