According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, 39-year-old catcher Jose Molina is undergoing knee surgery that will cause him to be out for a “long, indefinite period”. During the off-season, he hadn’t drawn much interest across the league, so it will be interesting to see if this surgery causes teams to take a chance on him again if he is truly 100% healthy. As an aging catcher whose defense is all he really has left in terms of on the field value, it would be tough to see him land another job if he isn’t able to return during 2015.
2014 was a tough year for Molina, who continued to see his performance on both offense and defense quickly diminish. At the plate, Jose would post an ugly .178 batting avereage along with a .23o OBP across 80 games. At this point expecting him to hit above the Mendoza Line might even be pushing it. In terms of defense, Jose only threw out 27% of runners, the lowest mark of his career. He also allowed 38 steals which is the third highest total he’s given up at this point in his 15 years at the Major League level. Even at age 39, Molina is still one of best game callers in the MLB, and his pitch framing ability has continued to be ranked along with the best defensive catchers in the game.
Jose Molina could still help out a team with a young pitching staff, as his game calling ability over the years has allowed multiple pitching prospects for the Tampa Bay Rays to be called-up and find success rather quickly. The timetable for Molina’s recovery at the moment is unknown, so until further news is released, it’s tough to speculate his plans for the upcoming season. Molina is really well liked throughout baseball thanks to his veteran clubhouse presence, so maybe a team will take a flier on him at some point just for that. Or there’s the chance he might just kind of fade away from the game of baseball if the recovery turns out to be on the long side. Retirement is a very possible scenario for Molina when taking in the fact that he isn’t in the best shape, he’s injured, and teams across the league weren’t even interested in giving him a chance prior to having surgery.