Fresh off the best all-around season of his eight year career, Yadier Molina will remain in St. Louis in 2012 when the Cardinals look to defend their World Series title. John Mozeliak announced the club’s intentions to pick up the $7 million option for the final year of a contract Molina signed prior to the 2008 season. The decision is expected to be made official on Monday.
Obviously it comes as no surprise that the Cardinals would love to have their all-star catcher back next year. In 139 regular season games, Molina hit .305/.349/.465 with 14 homers, 65 RBIs, 32 doubles, and 55 runs scored, all of which are career bests. He was also a driving force in the postseason, posting a .299/.360/.373 triple slash line to go along with 12 runs batted in. However, his talent and value is most prominent behind the plate. You really can’t say enough about his ability to control opposing running games and limit the stress of the St. Louis pitching staff.
Yadi has been selected to the National League all-star team each of the last three seasons, and a Gold Glove award this season would be his fourth consecutive. The 29-year-old has never played for any other team and has become one of the most beloved athletes in St. Louis.