The AL West-leading Texas Rangers filled a significant need Thursday by acquiring veteran catcher Bengie Molina and cash from San Francisco for reliever Chris Ray and a minor league pitcher.
Molina, 35, is expected to join the Rangers and be in the lineup tonight at the start of a 10-game homestand leading into the All-Star break.
Molina went to the playoffs three times with the Angels and won a World Series in 2002. He’s hitting .257 with three home runs and 17 RBI. The two-time Gold Glove winner became expendable when the Giants promoted top prospect Buster Posey.
The Rangers began this season with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden as their catchers, but both are back in the minors. Matt Treanor, acquired from Milwaukee during spring training, and Max Ramirez have split the catching duties since.
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“I don’t think we were crying out for help. We just wanted a front-line guy,” Texas manager Ron Washington said.
Ray, a right-handed reliever, is 2-0 with a 3.41 ERA in 35 games this season. Texas also sent right-hander Michael Main, their 2007 first-round draft pick (24th overall), to San Francisco.
D-BACKS CLEAN HOUSE
The Arizona Diamondbacks fired manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Josh Byrnes.
Arizona was 31-48 and in last place in the NL West, 151/2 games back of San Diego.
Hinch was hired May 7, 2009. Despite having no managerial experience at any level, he was moved from the front office to manager following the firing of Bob Melvin. Hinch has two years remaining on his contract after this season.
Diamondbacks bench coach and ex-major league slugger Kirk Gibson will be the interim manager.
Philadelphia Phillies star second baseman Chase Utley will be out at least eight weeks after having surgery in New York on his injured right thumb. … Phillies catcher Brian Schneider hyperextended his left thumb during a loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday. … Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel was supended one game and fined an undisclosed amount for bumping umpire C.B. Bucknor in a win over Cincinnati on Tuesday night. … The San Diego Padres activated outfielder-infielder Matt Stairs (knee) and right-hander Tim Stauffer (appendicitis) from the 15-day disabled list. … The Boston Red Sox acquired catcher Kevin Cash from the Houston Astros for infielder Angel Sanchez. … The Baltimore Orioles put outfielder Luke Scott on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring.