Bengie Going Home: Molina Returning To Giants

Jason LempertCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 15:  Bengie Molina #1 of the San Francisco Giants hits a single that scored Randy Winn to give the Giants a 8-2 lead over the Colorado Rockies in the sixth inning at AT&T Park on September 15, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

So, Bengie Molina is going to stay with the San Francisco Giants in 2010, after all. 

As first reported on CBS 5 Sports in San Francisco, Molina and the G-Men have agreed on a one-year $4.5 million contract.

Molina, who just finished a three-year $16.5 million contract in 2009, was reportedly looking for another multi-year deal, and highly rumored to take a two- (or perhaps three-) year deal to play for the New York Mets.  And, after watching guys like Jason Kendall and Ivan Rodriguez cash in on two-year contracts, who could blame him?

He would have fit very nicely in that Mets lineup, and after learning that Mets' center fielder Carlos Beltran will be out for at least the first month of the season, Molina would have been a key component in their offense.

Even with Beltran, the heart of the order could have gone something like this: Jason Bay, Beltran, David Wright, Jeff Francoeur and Molina—not too bad.

But instead, the Mets miss out on yet another targeted free agent or trade.  Add him to the list that already includes Roy Halladay, Jason Marquis, Randy Wolf, Chone Figgins, Rich Harden, and Kevin Millwood. So what's next for the Mets?

Now, they have to turn their catching attention to the likes of Yorvit Torrealba, a guy who just recently finished his grievance against the team. There's also Rod Barajas, but Omar Minaya reportedly would prefer not to sign him.

Or, they could just go with some combination of in-house backstops that include Omir Santos, Henry Blanco, Chris Coste, and Josh Thole.

If they do decide to turn their attention away from an available catcher, then they need to do two things: Shove as much money into Joel Pineiro's bank account as possible, and sign Carlos Delgado.

Instead of giving Molina the two years and some amount of dollars, they should give that money (and more?) to Pineiro to be their No. 2 starter behind Johan Santana.  Then, see what Torrealba is looking for.

But the priority for the team has to be to solidify that rotation, especially after witnessing the Phillies acquire Halladay, and watching all the other top pitchers fall off the board earlier in the offseason.

Initially, I felt that Delgado's time with the Mets needed to be over. But, given the recent Beltran episode, I have changed my tune a bit. And now, with the loss of whatever power Molina would have provided, the Mets need another thumper in that lineup.

Of course, a Delgado return means either a demotion or a trade for young Daniel Murphy. In my opinion, Murphy's lack of ability to hit the longball, or play another position, makes him a little expendable. A demotion might be more suited, should the Mets sign Delgado, as an insurance in case Delgado's hip is not in check.

Either way, the Mets' plans have to be altered after this seemingly shocking turn of events, with Molina going back to the Bay. 

Met fans are just hoping they change for the better—how can things get any worse?