Thoughts on Yadier Molina staying put


Last week at Redbirds Fun, the blog I managed before signing on to Redbird Rants as a staff writer, I hosted an edition of the United Cardinal Bloggers Preseason Roundtable. It was just my luck that Fansided was having server issues every time I tried logging in to write a post. I offer my thoughts below the fold on Yadier Molina staying put.

Anyway, it dealt with whether or not the Cardinals had a catcher ready in the minor leagues ready for action in the big leagues. Of course, this was when there was talk that Yadier Molina would not be talking with the club until after the season. The last thing we needed, of course, was a rerun of the postseason ongoing discussions that we saw earlier this offseason.

As a fan, it’s nerve-wrecking to wait on the team or player to make a decision. It’s no different than the constant trade rumors that we hear with the NBA teams (sidenote: I’m a Celtics fan and hearing trade rumors dealing with the Big 4 of KG, Ray, Pierce, and Rondo are never fun.). But as far as Molina goes, it’s certainly nice that his contract extension is out of the way more so than later.

Molina, who made his Cardinals debut on June 3, 2004, is not going to be leaving the organization. Already one of the best defensive players in the game, he’s put in 8 seasons to the Cardinals. The past season saw career highs in batting average, hits, doubles, home runs, runs, RBIS, slugging percentage, and on-base plus slugging percentages.

Chris has already looked at the numbers from a WAR perspective so I won’t bother you with any stats with regards to WAR.

As a catcher, Molina has been selected for 3 consecutive All-Star games and won 4 consecutive Gold Glove Awards.

He won’t turn 30 until this June. Catchers don’t usually have long baseball careers due to the wear and tear on the body over the years from crouching behind home plate. Under the terms of his contract, Molina is being paid $75 million over the course of 5 seasons. He will have turned 35 during the final year of the contract. At that point, the Cardinals will likely have settled on a catcher of the future to take over when Molina does retire. He will at some point. Not right now but later on down the road.

The Cardinals could always do what the Twins did with Joe Mauer and have him play first base so as not to place more wear and tear on his knees. In 7 of his 8 major league seasons, Molina has only played in 23 games at first base with his only start coming in 2008.

With Lance Berkman taking over duties at First Base, I would expect to see some more appearances this season by Yadier Molina at first.

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