Cardinals Rumors: St. Louis discussing extension with Yadier Molina
As expected, the St Louis Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are in talks about a contract extension, and it should get done.
The St. Louis Cardinals are in talks on a contract extension with catcher Yadier Molina, as Katie Woo and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported, though there is no indication that a deal is close.
It’s been widely anticipated that Molina and the Cardinals would soon begin contract discussions, as the two sides looked to avoid an offseason standoff that had him strongly considering leaving St. Louis. In fact, Molina has stated his desire to get a deal done before the offseason, telling Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Aug. 4: “The idea is to get something done early and see what can happen. That would be great. That would be good. That would be awesome.”
There is a strong belief that Molina and the Cardinals will get a deal done at some point, with a deal looking very similar to the one-year, $9 million contract he signed for the 2021 season. It would give them payroll flexibility to consider other upgrades on offense, re-signing Adam Wainwright and even to upgrade the starting rotation since his contract 1) would not put him in the top tier of highest paid catchers and 2) isn’t a long term deal and maintains their financial flexibility moving forward.
It’s a deal that has to get done. After all, Molina has defined the last 15+ years of Cardinals baseball and while he is not the player he once was, remains an impact player, especially behind the plate. And the Cardinals do not have any internal replacements lined up, considering Andrew Knizner has struggled in spot starts and top catching prospect Ivan Herrera is only in Double-A.
In all likelihood, 2022 would be Molina’s last year in St. Louis and perhaps even in baseball. By then, he will be 40 and Herrera, at least in theory, should be ready to assume the starting job in 2023.
Molina may not be the same player he was early in his career, evidenced by a .256/.303/.378 slashline with eight home runs and 49 RBI in 328 at-bats. But bringing him back for a 19th season in St. Louis is a no-brainer for the Cardinals.