There were a few articles in the Toronto Star today about the Molina signing. Here
is one of them, and an excerpt from it. The Conn Smythe dinner was in town here last night, so was a good chance for them to interview folks. Seems pretty clear that Molina will be the usual starter, but the manager and GM both seem to realize the importance of getting Zaun at-bats too, so I still think he will have an important role on this team. Also, given that Molina's option is a mutual "out", I'd be surprised to see him back around here in 2007 for $7.5M. Given that Molina hits best against lefties, and Zaun is a switch-hitter, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Gregg Zaun is in the option year of his contract, having earned the starting job in two grinding seasons and is clearly disturbed by the Molina signing on the eve of spring training.
"He wasn't real happy, but I'd be surprised if he was," manager John Gibbons told the Star's Allan Ryan of a phone call from Zaun. "I just told him if he needs to vent, he can call me anytime.
"I'll take care of it. I'll get him his playing time. He's a big part of what we did and what we're still doing. He waited so long for that job and he did a great job. We owe him the at-bats."
Even the GM realizes potential for disharmony exists behind the plate at spring training. "Zaun's at a stage where he wants to play more, but, for us it's a situation where we feel we're stronger having both of these guys," Ricciardi said.
Molina has spent the last few years with his brother Jose as his backup in Anaheim. The chemistry with the stubborn, emotional Zaun, in Dunedin will be slightly different. But, every camp needs a story line and this will be a good one.