Molina open to staying with Giants
Molina's agent, Gustavo Marcano, told The Associated Press on Thursday he hopes the 35-year-old catcher gets rewarded with the contract he "deserves." Molina headed into the Giants' final home game Thursday batting .265 with a career-high 20 home runs to go with 79 RBIs as the cleanup hitter.
"He would love to stay here," Marcano said after meeting with Molina. "He loves the city. He loves the guys, and loves being in the clubhouse. What he's done this year, he has the opportunity to get a nice contract, what he deserves. If that comes from the Giants, he would love that. If not, he will go somewhere else."
San Francisco Giants
Molina received a warm ovation when he stepped into the batter's box for the first time in what could be his final home game with the Giants.
Molina's $16 million, three-year contract ends after the season. General manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy both have declined to talk much about next year considering their contract situations are yet to be resolved -- though the Giants were working on new deals to keep both beyond this year.
Sabean received a two-year extension in 2007 that takes him through this season and the Giants have a club option for 2010. Bochy's three-year contract worth roughly $6 million is due to expire.
Molina would like to retire as a Giant and is seeking a multiyear deal, though it's doubtful considering his age and health concerns that the Giants would make such a commitment. They have Buster Posey, the fifth overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft, emerging as the catcher of the future.
Molina doesn't want to speak publicly about his future until after the season.
"We hope to get it resolved and hope they come with something serious and show they appreciate the job Bengie's doing, especially this season with 20 home runs," Marcano said.
Molina had been slowed by a hand injury that kept him out for three games before his return to the lineup Tuesday, when he matched his season bests with four hits and four RBIs and had his seventh career two-homer game.
He took a foul ball off the hand last Thursday against the Chicago Cubs when Kosuke Fukudome fouled a pitch from Brad Penny straight back and it awkwardly hit Molina's fingers. He immediately fell to the ground and headed to the San Francisco dugout, where trainers worked on his fingers.
Molina caught ace Tim Lincecum on Thursday and manager Bruce Bochy planned to talk to the catcher about playing once more during the team's season-ending series at San Diego. The club is trying to give Posey some opportunities, though a good portion of his evaluation will continue in the Arizona Fall League.
Bochy refused to guess how much longer Molina can play and be effective.
"It's hard to quantify how much he has left," the skipper said. "He can obviously still hit -- he has 20 home runs -- catch and throw. He might need more days off."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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