When the White Sox dealt affordable closer Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays for Nestor Molina, there were mixed reactions.
Some fans were upset at the start of what Kenny Williams called the "rebuilding" process while others were happy to add a top prospect to a struggling farm system. But everybody had the same questions: Who is Nestor Molina and was he good enough to be the only return for Santos?
The answer to the second part cannot be answered for some time, but the Sox are happy with the guy they got.
"There's no doubt he throws hard and he had the ability to throw strikes from the get-go," Marco Paddy, the Sox's new head of international operations, told the Tribune's Mark Gonzales. "He also has grown from 5-foot-11 to almost 6-2. He has great athletic ability. The tools are there."
Paddy spent five years with the Blue Jays in the same position he now holds for the White Sox and recalls Molina's journey to the mound.
The young prospect actually started as a third baseman and outfielder, but slumped at the plate to the tune of a .227 batting average over his first two seasons. When approached with the idea to become a starting pitcher, Molina didn't hesitate.
"He struggled with the bat in his second season," Paddy said. "But the conversion to pitcher came easily because he played everywhere. He's athletic and he took to pitching the right way. He wasn't scared."
While the White Sox won't know what the future holds for Molina, they do know where he came from.
Check out more on Molina's minor-league history with the Blue Jays over at ChicagoTribune.com.