Well it looks like Jose Molina has finally signed with the Rays. I say "finally" because it was reported about 10 days ago that they were close to a deal and just didn't do it until this morning. Molina signed for 1 year and $1.8MM, plus a club option for 2013, giving the Blue Jays a compensation pick in the supplemental round, between rounds 1 and 2 of this season's upcoming draft.
The Rays also made a trade yesterday, sending John Jaso to Seattle for Josh Leuke and a PTBNL or cash. This one is a headscratcher, as Jaso is under team control until 2015, and Josh Leuke is a guy who whacks off on vomiting females. This deal doesn't make sense, though I suppose that there is a chance that the PTBNL could make this look a little better. Players can only be traded 6 months after they are drafted, so I'm wondering if that's the case here, but usually the words "or cash" means that the list of players are nothing special. Simply, Jaso is going to be pretty useful for the Mariners since, as far as being a catcher is concerned, he's good at everything Miguel Olivo sucks at. Dave Cameron from Fangraphs/USS Mariner loves this deal for the M's, obviously.
The Blue Jays acquired infielder Luis Valbuena from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for cash over the weekend. This should be a low-risk option for 2B until Alex Anthopoulos figures out what the hell he's going to do there, but Valbuena should serve as a not-terrible backup infielder now that John Mcdonald isn't coming back. Cleveland DFA'ed Valbuena on the 18th of November. Valbuena has had some success in the AAA (albeit, he's spent parts of the last 4 seasons in AAA so that should be a cakewalk to him by now), but hasn't turned it in to anything special in the majors. He's got a .226/.286/.344 line in 806 major league plate appearances. This is probably nothing.
It would appear that the Tigers are interested in Kelly Johnson, enough to make him their main target for this offseason. That would net the Jays a first-round pick in compensation, whereas the other team that I've heard has interest, the Rockies, would have a protected first round choice, and would only net the Jays a 2nd rounder to go along with the sandwich pick. That link is mostly about Mark Buerhle, who the Jays also appear to be in on. I might turn this in to a whole post later.
Jays 2010 draft pick Daniel Norris is using his $2MM signing bonus well. He also looks like the guy from Joy of Painting.
And finally, the Houston Astros have fired President Tal Smith, and GM Ed Wade. I'm sure they are both absolutely thrilled. The Astros have a pretty bad team, and a weak farm system, but only have 1 player signed on past this season, so it might not be so bad for whoever takes over.