On Sunday, Yadier Molina let everyone know there would not be a hometown discount if he were to stay in St. Louis beyond the 2012 season. He indicated then that talks have been put on hold for the time being. Yesterday, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Joe Strauss said Molina’s agent Melvin Roman went a step further and stated that negotiations would not happen during the season.
The good news here is that the season has not begun and Melvin said he will be in town for a few more days. The bad news is Molina saw what happened with his friend Albert Pujols and now uses the word “business” each time he is asked about a contract extension. He seems to be throwing the word back in the face of the organization as that was their retort when pressed about the reasons they couldn’t afford to keep Pujols a Cardinal.
Molina seemingly has the upper hand in this process. The Cardinals are weak in the position behind him with a handful of back-up style catchers in the system. There is no one in the minors now who projects to be the type of player the Cardinals have in Molina. Molina also has the benefit of being among just a few talented catchers who will be on the market in 2013. Mike Napoli of the Texas Rangers, Russell Martin of the New York Yankees and Miguel Montero will be free-agents at the end of this season. Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves has an option for the 2013 season so it remains to be seen if it will be picked up or not. I would venture to guess the Braves either extend him or pick up the option.
I wrote separately about this from a salary perspective and suggested it was a dilemma for the Cardinals a few weeks back. It seems as if Molina is set to let this go out to the market and who could blame him. He saw the effects of being a premium commodity in the open market. It’s a business indeed.
Freese and Jay sign contracts for 2012
David Freese and Jon Jay agreed to one-year contracts yesterday according to Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch. Freese will earn $508,000 and Jay will make $504,000. The league minimum is $480,000 for 2012. Lance Lynn, Marc Rzepczynski, and Mitchell Boggs are also set to have new contracts soon. Players with less than three years major league experience (or those classified as super-twos) are restricted players, meaning the team is able to pay them basically whatever they want until they become eligible for arbitration. Freese, Rzepczynski and Boggs will all be arbitration eligible for the 2013 season.
Soreness claims Lynn and Swagerty
Lynn and prospect Jordan Swagerty did not participate in drills yesterday. Lynn strained his hamstring performing conditioning drills and Swagerty has minor elbow pain. Each will take it slow over the next couple days since it is so early in camp.
Matheny’s Quote of the Day
Derrick Goold again gives us Mike Matheny’s quote of the day. Yesterday, Matheny went philosophical:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Again, Matheny impresses me. This is a very smart man folks. Let’s hope it translates on the field. I have a feeling it will.
Baseball America released their top 100 prospect list which has 6 Cardinals on it. This was tops of all MLB teams along with the Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers. The honors went to rhp Shelby Miller (8), rhp Carlos Martinez (27), of Oscar Taveras (74), 3b Zack Cox (88), 2b Kolten Wong (93) and rhp Tyrell Jenkins (94). Also, Seedlings to Stars provided their Cardinals prospect listing yesterday.
Placing this many prospects in the tops of rankings shows how well the Cardinals are positioned for the future. Too bad none of the prospects are catchers.
Topics: Albert Pujols, Baseball America, Brian McCann, Carlos Martinez, David Freese, Jon Jay, Jordan Swagerty, Kolten Wong, Lance Lynn, Marc Rzepczynski, Miguel Montero, Mike Napoli, Mitchell Boggs, Oscar Taveras, Prospects, Russell Martin, Shelby Miller, Tyrell Jenkins, Yadier Molina, Zack Cox