Joe Maddon appeared with Ron and Ian on 620 WDAE on Friday. Here’s the full interview. The most eyebrow-raising comment is when Maddon said Jose Molina saved the Rays 50 runs this season.  Does that mean Molina will be back in 2013? The Rays have a $1.8 million option and nobody else on the roster has stepped up. So even if the Rays trade for a number one catcher, Molina makes sense as a compliment.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Matt Bush, who is still in jail for his DUI arrest in Spring Training, has officially been released by the Rays.
  • Fernando Rodney’s cap will be on display at the Hall of Fame after breaking he record for ERA by a reliever. [TampaBay.com]
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is the latest to bring up Alfonso Soriano as a potential DH for the Rays. This is a bandwagon we’ve been on a for a while and we fully expect to hear this rumor a lot this winter. [Boston.com]
  • Shaun King is not a fan of how the Bucs are using Josh Freeman right now. [JoeBucsFan]
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13 Comments

  1. KT says:

    I think with Molina, it's a market inefficiency type thing with the way that Maddon sort of danced around that question. I think they've figured out that Molina's framing is super valuable but can't come out and say that exactly, for fear of revealing their cards. It would be cool if they could retain Molina as a catching instructor when it's all said and done. Teach some of these guys how to receive a pitch properly, though might be best to let them stick to their fundamentals when it comes to blocking :)

    I like what he said about Upton, about the passion he has, and about his leadership that he's started to grow into. I also found it interesting that he talked about him liking the spotlight, and noting his strong showings in the latter parts of the seasons, which have helped the Rays numerous times down the stretch. I think it could go either way with Upton; I think he will either love more attention and a brighter spotlight with another team, or will really miss how comfortable it was to be on a team like the Rays. Time will only tell, but I think he will have some really good years ahead of him.

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    • Drew says:

      I think it would be cool if any coach in the Rays organization can get Molina to lose 20 pounds and/or block a ball in the dirt properly (like my middle school coach could do)

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  2. Mack says:

    You are aware Soriano was payed 19 million last year, right?..

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      $18 million actually. And he is due $18 million each of the next two years. The assumption by most is that the Cubs are willing to eat almost all of that so that they can try to replenish their farm system and get on with their youth movement. I have heard speculation that the Cubs would be willing to pay $28-32 of the remaining $36 million. That would mean the Rays would only have to pay $2-4 million next year and the year after. Of course, they will have to give up prospects also, and the Rays rarely do that. And they never give up good prospects, so this will probably never happen. But we can dream.

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  3. don says:

    Saved 50 runs....heh...I guess that makes Molina and maddon a wash...maybe that what he was thinking making up his 50 runs lost?

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  4. Dave L says:

    Don't expect any great deal that brings us a #1 catcher. They are too valuable. I get that there are many #2 catcher who would be our #1 but we arent going to give up arms.

    I think the most likely scenario which is achievable is that Molina, Lobaton and Jimmy Nez each catch around 50- 60 games.

    Maddon is including some yet unrevealed metric of JoMo handling the younger portion of our pitching staff which saves runs due to his calling of games. Thats what I still think the Cobb dustup in the dugout was about. Pitch selection. Thats my initial theory and im sticking to it.

    I'm with Drew on the weight loss. If he dropped some poundage he could last another year at 60 to 80 games. If he keeps his Jabba frame then 50 max at his age. But i like him in the organization.

    Soriano at any price would be a disaster and a Burrell redux to the Nth power. Some lazy older guy making too much money is a bad addition to the mix. I hate having a DH on this roster. Just rotate whoever is hot and is the daily vs. pitcher best matchup. Scott should be back if he's healthy which he never was with us or the O's. Worry about stocking the lineup with fielders, our history in the Friedman era with a designated battter only is horrible.

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  5. Greg says:

    I thought our catching defense was pretty poor with Molina and I'm not sure he or Lobaton can hit much, so if there are no new names, I want to see more of Gimenez. It doesn't cost much to keep Molina, but I feel like every pitch in the dirt will get to the backstop. What's the word on when Chirinos may hit the field again?

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    • TOM says:

      I agree completely. Molina can't hit, he's terrible at blocking pitches in the dirt. They should get rid of him & maddon. I remember Madden saying how Matsui was a great addition to the team & Ruggino didn't hit enough. Great evaluation dummy. He probably thinks we should resign Pena to. GO REDS.

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  6. Jason C says:

    I could be wrong, but wasnt Molina one of our best hitters for the last 2 months of the season? I know, thats not necessarily saying much, but still.

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  7. Jason C says:

    In his last 24 games with us, Molina had a triple slash line of:

    .325 / .372 / .600

    Not bad for a fat, slow old guy..

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  8. Dave L says:

    Its weird but last time I checked Molinas defensive stats they werent as bad as my memory would suggest with regard to passed balls, errors etc.

    I think the way he handles the staff is an intangible only the guys in the clubhouse would be able to truly evaluate. And they seem to be very happy with him. His pitchers ERA was only more or less 0.1 lower than Lobaton and Gimmy.

    The Rays never dump on a guy in public but they seem to go out of thier way to praise him multiple times throughout the season and now afterward.

    Based on what are the typical Rays alternatives, I would like to see him back, but I would like to see much LESS of him next year, if you know what I mean and also reduced playing time as the others hopefully develope

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