NEW YORK -- The Yankees moved to bolster their catching depth on Saturday, acquiring backstop Jose Molina from the Angels for right-handed pitcher Jeff Kennard.
Molina, 32, is expected to help shoulder the load behind veteran All-Star catcher Jorge Posada, who is enjoying one of his finest offensive seasons for New York.
In a corresponding roster move, the Yankees plan to designate catcher Wil Nieves for assignment as soon as Molina joins the team in New York.
"We felt we upgraded ourselves, based on the fact that Molina had more experience," said manager Joe Torre. "He's been a regular at times. We just think [we needed a trade] for the long haul here this season, especially when we get into August and September, knowing how important those days are for Jorgie."
Molina was batting .224 (28-for-125) with no home runs and 10 RBIs in 40 games (37 starts) at catcher this season. He is expected to join the Yankees on Sunday, flying to meet the team from Minnesota, where the Angels are playing a series against the Twins.
This was a solid move by Cashman and one that should have been made a long time ago because Nieves was the worst backup catcher in all of MLB.
I couldn't help but notice how everyone in the media and Yankee brass went out of their way to tell us what a great guy Nieves is when discussing the deal.
Well, ya know, that's all fine and dandy if he's dating my sister or I'm looking for a friend. But that hardly helps this team win baseball games.
Doesn't say much about his ability on the field when the only positive thing people said about him was how good of a person he is and how he was well-liked in the clubhouse.