Jordan Bastian, the Jays have signed catcher Jose Molina to a one-year minor-league contract with a club option. He is guaranteed $400K and another $400K if he makes the opening day roster, which is not necessarily certain to happen. He will battle it out with Raul Chavez in spring training for the right to back-up newly signed John Buck.
Last year the 34 year old was a backup to Jorge Posada for the Yankees where he hit .217/.292/.268 in 138 AB's. Chavez did have a better year at the plate (.258/.285/.346) in 159 AB's, but they may want Chazez do go to the minors to backup J.P. Arencibia because he is on a minor-league deal.
The brother of Bengie and Yadier has a career caught stealing percentage of 40%, but threw them out at a rate of 28% last season in 52 games (Chavez had a 38 CS% last year).
The club option is worth $1.2 million for 2011, but that is not likely to be picked up. The Jays would like Arencibia to have a good start to the year and hopefully take over Molina's spot on the roster at some point in 2010.
It's really hard to find anything to say about this move and I don't think anything needs to be said because I would have been fine with Chavez (or even Kyle Phillips) starting the year as the major league backup with Arencibia taking over at mid-season, but this move just puts another mediocre catcher on the depth chart.
UPDATE: Bastian is reporting that Molina is the "clear favourite" to win the primary backup spot on the roster. That is a not surprising because Molina has name value, but Chavez definitely deserves a shot considering his 2009 season. He is also saying that the club has placed Jesse Litsch on the 60-day disabled list to clear room for Molina on the 40-man roster.