ST. PETERSBURG, FL—The Tampa Bay Rays have signed catcher Jose Molina to a two-year, $4.5 million major league contract. He will donate $40,000 to the Rays Baseball Foundation over the life of the contract. Molina had declared free agency before re-signing with the Rays.
The 38-year-old is a 14-year major league veteran including the last two seasons with the Rays. In 2013 he started a career-high 87 games at catcher, breaking his previous high of 81 in 2008, and made his fifth career postseason appearance. He has started 80-plus games in each of his two seasons with the Rays after averaging only 55 starts in the three seasons prior. In 99 games, he batted .233 (66-for-283) with two home runs and 14 doubles.
Molina caught 23.3 percent (17 of 73) of attempted base stealers, better than the major league average (23.1), and his career rate of 37.7 percent ranks fourth among active catchers (min. 500 games), behind his brother Yadier Molina (44.5), Henry Blanco (42.8) and David Ross (38.9). His 25 career pickoffs rank second among active catchers behind his brother, Yadier (42). Jose and Yadier played together for Puerto Rico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic as they advanced to the final round.