The Padres reached out to Bengie Molina and inquired as to his availability this season. His answer was that he "is retired." (North County Times , via Twitter)
With the announcement Gregg Zaun has decided to retire, the Padres are left with just Nick Hundley and Rob Johnson behind the plate. Johnson is fighting through a rib injury, too, so that's a lot of weight on the shoulders of Hundley -- who has never appeared in more than 85 major-league games in a season.
So the Padres' reported interest in Molina makes pretty good sense. They had a veteran backstop to help spell Hundley on occasion, lost him and looked to replace him with someone of similar ilk.
Molina, 36, set a career high with 20 home runs during 2009 with the Giants. He also drove home more than 80 runs for the third consecutive season, in addition to his outstanding work with the pitching staff. Last season, however, he lost his job to rookie sensation Buster Posey and was shipped to Texas midseason. Coincidentally, he faced off against the Giants in the World Series with his Rangers. His team came up short, but Molina does have a World Series ring -- which he won with the 2002 Angels.
There's no word on anyone else the Padres might pursue, or if they'll just go with Hundley, Johnson and their own minor-league system.
UPDATE: Cue the contradictory report! San Jose Mercury News reports Molina is "definitely not retired," just that he wants a "guaranteed deal at a respectable salary."
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