Molina softens criticism of Angels organization

Updated: February 17, 2006, 1:24 AM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Blue Jays catcher Bengie Molina backed off his criticism of the Los Angeles Angels and said Thursday he wishes the best for his former organization.

Toronto Blue Jays

119 15 69 45 .336 .295

Molina, who signed a $5 million, one-year contract with Toronto in the offseason, said last week he was hurt that the Angels didn't call him when they let him go.

The 31-year-old Molina hit a career-best .295 last season with 15 homers and 69 RBIs. He won Gold Gloves in 2002 and 2003. He signed with the Angels when he was 17.

Molina said in a statement Thursday that he was disappointed when the Angels did not offer him arbitration in December.

"That was then. I never said the Angels treated me badly during my career with the organization," Molina said. "I have a lot of respect for my teammates, coaches and manager and, a great affection for the fans of the Los Angeles Angels. I am excited to be a Blue Jay and wish everyone in the Angels organization the best."

Molina was part of an offseason overhaul for Toronto, which also signed free-agent pitchers A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan, and acquired third baseman Troy Glaus and first baseman Lyle Overbay in trades.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press