Bengie Molina Is Back!: Why San Francisco Giants Fans Should Rejoice

Victor Valladares JrContributor IJanuary 19, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 26:  Bengie Molina #1 of the San Francisco Giants hits a pinch hit 3 run home run to give the Giants a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning of their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park on August 26, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images for Reebok)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Two days ago, I wrote that Buster Posey was not ready to catch for the Giants.

Apparently, the Giants agreed.

Today, the Giants re-signed Bengie "Big Money" Molina to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.  The move was not anticipated, as Molina was said to be seeking a multi-year deal, something that the Mets were willing to offer.

This morning we learned Molina rejected the Mets' latest offer, a two-year deal.  The deal would have also paid Bengie $5 million plus incentives.  If this is true, Molina took less money to return to San Francisco.

So then why did the Giants, who had all but given up on Molina, re-sign him?

I believe it was a combination of two major factors.  First, the Giants finally made up their minds on Posey and decided that he was not ready for a starting role.  I felt the Giants were making a mistake by letting Bengie walk away.  Bengie is proven, Posey is not.  Bruce Bochy understood this, and rarely gave Posey an at-bat last September, even when Bengie was hurt.

Secondly, the Giants saw an opportunity that they just could not pass up.  The Mets' final offer was reported to be their last one.  Assuming that is true, Molina would have had no choice but to accept a one-year offer—exactly what the Giants were looking for.

Molina's newfound availability forced the Giants to a decide on Posey. 

They opted for the proven catcher and Giants fans should be happy.  In my opinion, this is a steal for the Giants who had all but given up on Molina.

Bengie has proven himself a consistent run producer with the Giants, driving in at least 80 runs in his three years with the Giants, including 95 in 2008.  Bengie has given us little reason to believe he won't continue this trend as one of the best catchers in the National League, despite his reputation of being a slow baserunner.

Also, Molina brings the added bonus of familiarity with the Giants starting pitchers, something Posey does not possess.  Posey will learn eventually, but a proven veteran in the eyes of Bochy is almost always the better choice.

With this surprise move, the Giants have a lineup that I believe, when paired with their pitching, makes them legitimate contenders for the NL West crown.  Even with Aaron Rowand at the leadoff spot, the Giants should expect to see an offense that brings more punch than in years past.

By no means is their offense superb or dominant.  There are still "ifs" that need to be addressed.  The return of Bengie, however, eliminates one of those "ifs".

All of this only cost the Giants $4.5 million.

In addition, the Giants now have more options with Posey.

This pretty much guarantees Posey will begin the season in AAA Fresno.  This is not a bad thing for Posey, as the Giants let him marinate for a little while longer.  Posey can only get better in the minors, not worse.

Posey will be back this year and I don't think it will be in September.  Since I find it hard to believe Bengie will share a platoon role with Posey halfway through the year, the Giants have somewhat of a new dilemma.  Luckily, they have time to sort it out.

The Giants may turn around and trade Bengie at the deadline for prospects, handing Posey the starting job.  Though, considering Molina is a fan favorite, it may not be a very popular move.

I expect the Giants are finished now and are going with what they have, which is not horrible by any means.

Credit Brian Sabean on a job well done here.

And, oh by the way, look out NL West.  The race just got more interesting.