Oli Marmol's extension casts doubt on Yadier Molina's future with the Cardinals

The Cardinals' decision to extend Oli Marmol indicates that the team has no grand plans for Yadier Molina.
Puerto Rico v Atlanta Braves
Puerto Rico v Atlanta Braves / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

After faceplanting and hobbling through 2023, the St. Louis Cardinals nevertheless displayed their confidence in manager Oli Marmol, awarding him a two-year contract extension prior to the 2024 season. The extension is a sign that the Cardinals have faith in Marmol to turn the team around, but it also signifies that they don't believe Yadier Molina is ready to step into that role.

It was revealed during the offseason that the legendary catcher would be returning to the Cardinals in an advisory role to President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak, and there was some speculation that Marmol could eventually lose his job to Molina. But Molina, who was also expected to help the players and coaches in Spring Training, has yet to arrive at the Cardinals' facilities in Florida over a month after his Puerto Rican team was eliminated in the Caribbean Series on Feb. 7.

Aside from managing a baseball team, Molina owns a professional basketball team in his native Puerto Rican city of Bayamon. Cardinals fans will remember the instances in 2022, his final season, when he would leave the Cardinals for a few days to perform his responsibilities with his basketball squad, Vaqueros de Bayamon.

With so many items for Molina to juggle, the Cardinals don't appear to be at the top of his priorities. Fans were elated to hear that Molina was returning to the team, but upon his failure to show up to Spring Training to this point, along with the news that he would not have a full-time position with the Cardinals, it has become clear that Molina's role will be mostly ceremonial.

Marmol's extension suggests that the Cardinals don't have full confidence in Molina's commitment to a management role, assuming Molina wanted the position in the first place. Managers can't leave the country for a few days to engage in some other activity as Molina did during his 2022 denouement, and perhaps the Cardinals also realize that Molina's reluctance to communicate with the media wouldn't jibe well with the duties required of a skipper.

It's disappointing that a former player with so much wisdom to impart will have such a small role with the team, but Marmol's extension shows that the Cardinals don't seem to have Molina as a big part of their current plans or those in the near future.