ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels talked to reporters about the Bengie Molina trade moments ago. Again, the trade was reliever Chris Ray and pitching prospect Michael Main to San Francisco for Molina and cash. The amount of money the Giants had to send in order to pay Molina's salary dictated that they get a prospect at the level of Main, a former first-round pick in 2007. Some thoughts from Daniels:
He said he likes Molina's experience and wants him to help a young and relatively inexperienced pitching staff.
"He brings a veteran presence, a guy that's been back there, caught quality pitching and young pitching and some big games," Daniels said. "He brings something with the bat as well. He hasn't gotten off to a great start, but we feel he can help us on both sides of it. This guy is a winner and takes pride in game calling. He works with a staff and understands the game plan. I talked to him earlier and he's excited to be here."
Molina will fly into Dallas tonight and join the team in Arlington tomorrow. The Rangers will make a roster move at that time, likely optioning Max Ramirez to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Molina worked with a talented staff in San Francisco, including Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Barry Zito and others. Daniels said that was a factor in the decision to trade for him. But it was also Molina's reputation as a good clubhouse guy and receiver behind the plate.
"We talked to a lot of people around the league as we’ve been researching different options and people that he was with they all said he's a great guy in the clubhouse, good at handling a staff, understands what pitchers are trying to do and how to help them execute it," Daniels said. "He's played in winning situations."
Another plus in Daniels' mind is Molina's arm and career track record on holding runners.
"He can handle guys with good stuff. We’ve got some big arms on our staff, especially in the bullpen. He will help us control the running game," Daniels said. "I don’t think teams by any stretch are running wild on us, but you look to improve yourself. As you get into meaningful games, those extra base hits become big. He understands that and can perform in those situations."
Daniels said the club would not have made the deal if they didn't feel Molina was an upgrade over current catchers Matt Treanor and Max Ramirez. Daniels praised the job those guys have done, but felt Molina's experience and bat would help the club down the stretch.
Daniels didn't like the idea of losing Main, but that's part of getting a player like Molina with the club's financial situation.
"You don’t like to trade away anyone like that," Daniels said. "Michael has dealt with some injuries, but he’s a tremendous makeup guy and has ability. You don’t want to include any prospects in the deal, but that's the nature of the game. With our scouts, the work they’ve put in, it’s put us in a position where despite unusual circumstances, we're acquiring talent for our big league club. We don’t want to just be in a pennant race, but to prevail. If that means dealing a young player, you don’t like to do it, but at some level that's why prospects are there."