Rangers, Giants finalize deal for Molina

Updated: July 1, 2010, 9:54 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants finalized the trade that brings catcher Bengie Molina to Texas in exchange for reliever Chris Ray and minor league starter Michael Main. The Rangers are also receiving cash from the Giants so that the deal is budget neutral.

Texas is also recalling Pedro Strop from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take Ray's spot on the 25-man roster. Molina doesn 't join the club until Friday in Arlington, so a roster move doesn 't need to be made until then.

Molina, who turns 36 in July, gives the Rangers a catcher with a .275 career batting average. He 's hitting .257 this season with three homers and 17 RBIs in 61 games (202 at-bats). He is hitting .382 (21-for-55) against left-handed pitching. He's caught 28.2 percent of the runners trying to steal in his career, 11th among active players. That rate is 20.3 percent this season for a catcher who won Gold Gloves in 2002 and 2003.

Molina, who is making $4.5 million this season, is known for his ability to handle a pitching staff. He also has a reputation as a leader and good teammate in the clubhouse.

The Rangers ' catching position is hitting .209 for Texas, the lowest in the majors. Texas started the season with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden, but Saltalamacchia quickly landed back on the disabled list and Teagarden struggled. Matt Treanor, signed near the end of spring training, has been the club 's starter at the position with Max Ramirez backing him up.

Main, 21, is 5-3 with a 3.45 ERA in 15 starts for Class A Bakersfield this season. He was a first-round pick (second in the first round after Blake Beavan) in 2007. He was promoted to Double-A Frisco earlier this week but hadn 't pitched there yet.

Richard Durrett covers the Stars for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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