Yadier Molina is a free agent at the end of the season and the St Louis Cardinals catcher has made it clear he wants to stay.
This winter, the St. Louis Cardinals’ contract negotiations with catcher Yadier Molina dragged on and on. There was a belief for most of the offseason that a deal would get done, but at one point, there was a legitimate chance he would play elsewhere as other suitors lined up for the chance to sign him.
Molina has acknowledged how difficult it was for him and he wants to avoid that scenario this winter when he once again becomes a free agent. And he expects his agent, Melvin Roman of MDR Sports, to talk to the Cardinals soon about an extension, the catcher told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
It would be a stunner if the Cardinals and Molina did not come to some sort of agreement. While he is 38 and deep into the back nine of his career, he remains an effective option. He is closer to league average as a pitch framer, but has thrown out 42.1 percent of runners attempting to steal bases. He is hitting .254/.295/.381 line with eight home runs in 319 plate appearances this season, which is above the league average .227/.307/.390 mark for catchers, as noted by MLB Trade Rumors.
Molina sought a multi-year deal this winter, though he’s unlikely to get one this offseason since his play is not what it once was. But the Cardinals should seriously consider bringing him back since there is no clear candidate within the organization to replace him, at least in 2022, as top catching prospect Ivan Herrera is in Double-A and needs more minor-league experience.
And the Cardinals should want to get a deal done sooner than later to avoid a repeat of this past offseason. We will see if something ultimately gets done, but like last year, the odds are strongly in the favor of an agreement being reached to keep Molina in St. Louis.