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In the News: There is no News!

According to the Toronto Star, trade talks between the Blue Jays and other teams haven't progressed. Also, the team isn't actively pursuing any free agents, which is probably a good thing considering some of the contracts that have been handed out recently (i.e. Jarrod Washburn signing for $37.5 million over four years).

Trade talks, Ricciardi said, have all but withered and died and there is nothing overly appealing among remaining free agents. He also said he didn't anticipate any surprises popping up after last night's midnight deadline for teams to offer 2006 contracts to their own free agents.

Update [2005-12-21 10:15:48 by mark w]: According to the Toronto Sun, J.P. Ricciardi is now pursuing catcher Bengie Molina:

With trade talks all but dead in his search for another bat, preferably a power-hitting right-handed one, the Blue Jays general manager is giving the list of free agents another once over.

One of the surprising names still left on the unsigned free agent list is 31-year-old Bengie Molina and that hasn't escaped Ricciardi's notice.

"We're throwing his name around a little bit," Ricciardi said yesterday of the Jays interest in the the veteran right-handed hitting catcher. "If all fails with the outfielders we'll probably turn our attention to (obtaining) a catcher."

He's excellent defensively and would be the perfect compliment to the switch-hitting Gregg Zaun who was overused last year because the Jays didn't have a legitimate backup.

I really, really hope this doesn't materialize. Greg Zaun has proven to be a perfectly capable starting catcher. And although Molina posted a career-best 110 OPS+ last season, his offensive numbers the season before were markedly worse than Zaun's (Molina posted an 86 OPS+; Zaun posted a 94 OPS+). Also, any deal for Molina would likely be for 3-4 years in the $6-8 million/year range. The contract would also cover his decline phase, which could be ugly (he's already one of the slowest players in the league at the age of 31). In the end, I don't see how the marginal improvement Molina would provide could be worth the expensive, long-term investment on the part of the Blue Jays.