Andrew Baggarley of the San Jose Mercury News reports on the slowly developing, but now completed trade between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants. The Giants send their opening day catcher Bengie Molina and nearly $2 million in cash to the Rangers for reliever Chris Ray and pitching prospect Michael Main. The move settles the unstable backstop position for the Rangers, helps the Giants get from their excellent starters to their excellent closer while adding a former first round draft pick to their farm system.
Molina has had an off-season, spent mostly looking over his shoulder at the on coming uber prospect, Buster Posey. Molina saw his slash line averages dip to .257/.312/.332 this season. He put up a .265/.285/.442 line last season. The veteran catcher is in his thirteenth major league season.
Ray closed games in Baltimore in 2006 and 2007, but missed the entirety of the 2008 season following elbow surgery. He was in his first season in Texas and had put up a 3.41 ERA in 31 2/3 innings pitched. Ray's numbers relied on a surprisingly low hit rate to offset his high walk rate and poor strikeout rate.
Main was the Rangers first round draft choice in the 2007 rule 4 draft. He was pitching in the notoriously hitter-friendly Cal League at Bakersfield. His first trip through the league last season was uninspiring, causing him to tumble in the eyes of many prospect watchers. Main has bounced back this season to put up a 5-3 record and a 3.45 ERA that's backed by solid peripherals including a health 3.43 SO/BB ratio.
The deal casts into doubt, yet again the future of catching prospects Max Ramirez, Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The cash the Rangers received offsets any potential increase in payroll, thus doing nothing to upset the contentious sale of the club.
Keep checking back to the Biz of Baseball for more updates on the club's bankruptcy and sale as Maury Brown focuses in on all the details of the case.
Joe Tetreault is Managing Editor of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball
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