Giants trade catcher to Rangers |

Giants trade catcher to Rangers

The Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas – The AL West-leading Texas Rangers filled a significant need Thursday by acquiring veteran catcher Bengie Molina and cash from the San Francisco Giants for reliever Chris Ray and a minor league pitcher.

Molina is expected to join the Rangers on Friday, when they start a 10-game homestand leading into the All-Star break.

The 35-year-old Molina is hitting .257 with three home runs and 17 RBIs. The two-time Gold Glove winner became expendable when the Giants recently promoted top prospect Buster Posey.

After Ivan Rodriguez didn’t stay in Texas, the Rangers began this season with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden as their catchers. Both are back in the minor leagues.

Rodriguez reunited with his original team for the final 1 1/2 months last season, but then signed a two-year free-agent deal with the Washington Nationals last winter.

Saltalamacchia has been at Triple-A Oklahoma City since coming off the disabled list (upper back strain) in late April. He was sent to the minors because of his troublesome inconsistency on the throws back to the pitcher.

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Teagarden hit .037 (1 for 27) in 10 games for Texas before being sent down, and is now at Double-A Frisco.

Matt Treanor, acquired from Milwaukee during spring training, and Max Ramirez have been splitting the catching duties the past two months.

The right-handed Ray is 2-0 with a 3.41 ERA in 35 games this season. The Rangers also sent right-hander Michael Main, their 2007 first-round draft pick (24th overall), to San Francisco.