Cardinals Extend Yadier Molina

The Cardinals announced a five-year, $75MM contract extension with catcher Yadier Molina this afternoon.  The deal includes a no-trade clause and a mutual option for 2018 that's worth an additional $15MM.  Molina is represented by Melvin Roman of MDR Sports Management.

Molina, 29, is considered by many to be the game's best defensive catcher.  His offense took a leap forward in 2011, as he posted a .305/.349/.465 line in 518 plate appearances.  Molina has been durable, averaging 145 games over the last three years including the postseason.  The $15MM salary and five-year term probably represents market value for Molina, but it may have been more difficult for GM John Mozeliak to hammer out a deal after the season.  

Molina's contract is the third-largest in baseball history for a backstop, behind Joe Mauer's $184MM and Mike Piazza's $91MM.  On the Cardinals, Molina is second only to Matt Holliday in average annual value.  This is Molina's second multiyear deal with the Cardinals, as they locked him up affordably four years ago.

The 2012-13 free agent class for catchers remains deep with Molina off the board, with Miguel Montero, Mike Napoli, Russell Martin, and Chris Iannetta.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first tweeted the news and added existence of the vesting option later on.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported the value of the contract.  Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch first said the deal was all but done and Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch first reported the mutual option.


80 Responses to Cardinals Extend Yadier Molina Leave a Reply

  1. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    Good, now let’s get the season started!

  2. goner 3 years ago

    I like Molina as much as the next guy, but 5 years/$75M is just insane given his age and recent workload behind the plate.

    • Roy Munson 3 years ago

      Going to fascinating to see what the other guys(Martin/Montero) will ask for/get this off season.

    • stl_cards16 3 years ago

      “given his age”

      He’s 29 and signing a 5 year deal.  At a time when it’s getting common for guys to sign huge deals until they are 38-40, I hardly find it “insane” to sign a guy until he’s 34.

      • nm344 3 years ago

        The 5 years are in addition to his age 29-30 season.  So he’ll be 35 in the middle of his last contract season.  Making 15 million.

      • FS54 3 years ago

        But he is a catcher which historically, fans assume that they age faster than other position players or pitchers.
        I remember seeing a post on fangraphs about this which argues otherwise.
        However, I still think it is a pricey contract for defense-minded catcher.

        Anyways, is Molina still be batting mostly at number 6?

        • WeDontNeedToFinPracticeRANDY 3 years ago

          I think it’s a pretty fair contract. While his bat definitely takes a backseat to his defense, obviously, it’s more than adequate. Molina’s been clutch over the years for us. He’s a tough out, too, which is more than a lot of catchers can say.

          To answer your question, I see him holding down the 6 spot this year.  

      • goner 3 years ago

        read it again: “given his age *AND* recent workload behind the plate”

        In November 2000, the Pirates gave 3-time All-Star C Jason Kendall a 6 year/$60M extension, running from 2002-07 (his age 28-33 seasons).  Kendall had played in 810 games from 1996-2001 (including 27 games in the OF in 2001), hitting to a 112 OPS+, good for 21.0 bWAR.  He missed half the season due to injury in 1999.  For comparison purposes, Yadier Molina already has 910 career games at C over 8 seasons, a career 88 OPS+, and a career total of 14.1 bWAR.

        unlike Molina, Kendall was never really known for his defense, but his skillset included a high OBP and few strikeouts, which figured to age at least somewhat gracefully.  And indeed, in Kendall’s first 3 seasons in that extension (2002-2004), he played in an average of 147 games/year while hitting a respectable 102 OPS+, good for a total of 10.5 bWAR while making $24.7M. 

        In the last three years of the extension (2005-07, after being traded with cash to Oakland), he was still good for an average of 143 games/year, but he hit to the tune of a 77 OPS+ while posting a total of 3.5 bWAR and making $34.9M. 

        In Kendall’s age 34-35 seasons combined, he played in an average of 142 games/year but posted an OPS+ of 73 and 2.1 total bWAR, albeit at a total cost of $9.25M on his 2-year contract with the Brewers.  Now keep in mind, Kendall was a catcher than “aged normally” according to Dave Cameron’s recent article on Molina’s extension at Fangraphs.

        In summary, although Kendall still had a few good years left in him, the dollars and length of his contract extension made it insane.  But that said, at least it was better than Molina’s extension… even if there wasn’t a no-trade clause, it would be near impossible for the Cardinals to trade him.

        edited to fix a typo, and also to note that a no-trade clause was part of Molina’s deal (last sentence).

        •  Great comparison!  The greatest part of Kendall was that he played more than any other catcher year over year, and had top-of-the-lineup skills for a catcher.  Still a bad contract like you said…just like this has the makings of. 

          What would Carlos Ruiz get now?  Ruiz is a poor mans version of Yadier to me

        • Lanidrac 3 years ago

          “Aged normally” was used as a relative term in that Fangraphs article.  Most of the catchers examined aged even better.

          • goner 3 years ago

            The facts are that Molina has more wear and tear in him than Kendall did at the same age, his career hitting metrics are worse than Kendall’s were, and he’s being paid an average of $5M/season more than Kendall during their extensions. 

            I’m sure Molina still has a few good seasons in him, just like Kendall did.  But anyone expecting Molina to age better than Kendall — better than “normal”, despite the facts listed above — is likely to be terribly disappointed in 2015 or 2016. 

          • Lanidrac 3 years ago

            First of all, with the way MLB salaries have risen, you can’t directly compare the amounts of Kendall’s and Molina’s extensions.

            Third, Molina’s offensive value is only secondary to his defensive value (where you admit that Kendall didn’t excel), so it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t hit as well as Kendall did.

            Third, that Fangraphs article also listed Pudge Rodriguez (an excellent defensive catcher with decent offense like Molina) and several other catchers with just as much wear as Molina by his age, aging very well into the first half of their 30s.

          • gmenfan 3 years ago

            To put them in the same category of “decent” offensive catchers sells Rodriguez’s accomplishments a little short.

            From age 21 to 28 …

            Molina: .274/.331/.377
            3 time All-Star and 4 Golden Gloves

            Rodriguez:.311/.349/.501
            8 time All-Star, 8 Golden Gloves, 6 Silver Sluggers and 1 MVP

            What’s amazing is that Rodriguez never made more than $12.5M in a season and we’re talking about handing Molina $15M.

          • goner 3 years ago

            First, with that extension Kendall was the second highest paid catcher (behind only Mike Piazza) at the time, and about $4M more than I-Rod made over the same seasons.  Where does Molina’s extension rank him among active catchers?  Please also note that Kendall made $12.8M in the last year of his extension, in 2007.  I’d bet that Molina will likewise be grossly overpaid at the end of his extension.

            “Third”, Molina needs to earn his paycheck one way or another.  Even if Molina is healthy, it will be quite a remarkable feat to produce enough WAR based on defense alone to justify the final years of that contract.

            Third, as noted by gmenfan, Rodriguez and Molina are nowhere near in the same class.  Pudge is a lock for the HoF, joining Gary Carter and Johnny Bench from that “aged well” list.  Ted Simmons isn’t a good comp either as he appeared in over 100 games as a C in just one season after turning 30 (fortunately, he could also play 1B and DH).  But if you want to say that Molina will age just as well as Benito Santiago or Darrell Porter, go right ahead.  I don’t think reaching either of those outcomes mean Molina will “earn” his paycheck by the end of the extension.

          • Lanidrac 3 years ago

            Who cares which of them is in the Hall or Hall bound? The point is that Fangraphs showed that early heavy workloads for catchers doesn’t correlate with an earlier than usual aging dropoff for catchers in general.

            I don’t expect Molina to produce enough “WAR,” as he’s always been highly underrated by it due to how horribly inaccurate it is for catcher defense.

            Molina doesn’t actually have to earn his salary in the final couple of seasons. He just needs to provide enough value in those final seasons to provide pretty good value over the entire extension.  He can easily be worth over $15M in the first couple years, and don’t forget that he’s been underpaid in his current contract including only making $7M this year.

        • Lanidrac 3 years ago

          “Aged normally” was used as a relative term in that Fangraphs article.  Most of the catchers examined aged even better.

        • O_dizzle 3 years ago

          The no-trade clause is largely irrelevent, considering that he’ll have 10/5 rights in a couple years (early season 2014 I believe), and the Cards weren’t likely to trade him before then anyway. 

          And I’m not sure Kendall is a good comparison, since he was such a unique player for the position in that his legs were a big part of his game and they are also the very thing that is likely to most deteriorate with the grind of catching.  Yadi was never gonna win any races so I would argue that’s minimized with him. 

          Just look at his brothers for a better comparison.  They aged quite well into their 30s, especially offensively, and Yadi has always been regarded as the best of the three.

          • goner 3 years ago

             I understand where you’re coming from, but Kendall’s legs had nothing to do with his ability to work the strike zone.  Maybe the deteriorating legs was one of the reasons he lost the ability to hit for power, or maybe it was just playing in Oakland. 

            And I don’t think comparing Yadier to his brothers does Yadier justice, either.  Bengie accumulated a total of 1.1 bWAR after his age 30 season, while Jose has 1.2 bWAR since his age 30 season.  I sincerely hope Yadier Molina can do better than that.

          • O_dizzle 3 years ago

            He certainly can do better, evidenced by the fact that he HAS done better than his brothers to this point in their respective careers. 

            I’m honestly not a guy that looks at WAR much or has these sorts of discussions a lot, so feel free to correct me if I get any of this wrong, but you’re looking at baseball reference for these numbers?  If so, it strikes me as disingenuous to put up their post-30 year old WARs and say:  “look, they didn’t do anything!”  The comparison I’m making between Yadi and his brothers is not for overall production, which I think you understand.  But you’re pretty much saying that his brothers’ production fell off significantly after they turned 30?  If so, I don’t really see it.

            Bengie had about as many pre-30-year-old seasons of 0.4 or 0.5 WAR than he did after 30 (especially if you take out that 2010 WAR of -0.6 with two different teams when he was 35, which is admittedly ugly). 

            Jose’s 26-28 year old seasons were 0.4, 0.4, and -0.7 respectively.  So the fact that he didn’t do much after 30 doesn’t mean that his production fell off, it just means he was the worst player of the three Molinas.

            All I’m saying by comparing Yadi to his brothers is that there’s evidence to suggest that he’ll still be roughly the same player up to 34 as he has been to this point in his career (I know the deal takes him to 35, the option year to 36).  And that evidence suggests that Yadi’s increase in power numbers last year was no fluke (which a quick look at Bengie’s HR numbers seems to support).

            Can a reasonable argument be made that the Cards overpaid?  Certainly.  And you’ve made some good points to that end.  (Of course that’s not even taking into account the multitude of intangibles that Yadi brings to the table, which have been noted all over this thread by others already.)

            But to say that the contract is “insane” – as you did above – is just hyperbole.

      • Its better than spending 250 Million on Albert Pujols…. Thats for sure!

      •  I love Yadier but do you think he’s worth $15MM per?  And do you like giving a catcher a long-term deal?

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      Teams are being very loose with money this offseason.  Unless one im forgetting the only one that i really like is fielder’s contract, specifically because they get rid of him at age 36 and he is a one of the best hitters in majors.

  3. Wow, good guess. 

  4. People complaining about whether the Cardinals can afford it need to look at the facts. In our most recent story, we detail how the team is shedding over $66MM by the end of 2013. Molina’s $7MM raise is nothing.

    • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

      Sure, they can afford it.  They could have afforded $2 million less even easier. 

      “Can spend” and “should spend” are what has always separated the Cardinals from some of the other franchises in the National League.  Rarely have the Cardinals paid at or above market value for key players, which allows them to win on a limitted budget.  This is an exception.

      We’ll never know what Molina would have gotten on the open market.  This deal could be right, an overpay, or even an underpay.  I personally don’t think he gets $15 million on the open market.  Just because the Cardinals can afford the $15 million doesn’t mean that they should have, if they could have gotten him for a couple million less.

      • I think Molina’s market would’ve been in the $13MM-$15MM range in free agency. Are the Cardinals “overpaying?” Slightly. But, they (a) radically underpaid him for seven years, (b) need someone of his caliber and experience to handle and guide the young arms coming into the rotation in the next three years, and (c) need more time to groom a successor to him since they currently do not have one.

        Molina has been one of the most important players on the team for years. He has been the emotional center of the team. You keep guys like that … they are few and far between.

        • At $15MM he better bring more than the emotional center.  His defense is the best, his offense good enough but no way he gets $15MM on the open market.  Look how much the Red Sox were willing to pay Varitek for his big contract in his prime, roughly 2/3 the money the Cards just paid.

          Come opening day though, he will be a Cardinal & price wont matter

          • Are you referring to the contract he signed in 2001/2002? Ten years ago? Times have changed.

            All of the elite catchers (who are past the rookie/arb stage) are earning over $11MM a year. The market for catchers is terribly thin, too – had Molina reached free agency, he would have been the premiere catcher for hire. He would’ve had a $15MM offer from some big market team for sure. One team comes to mind quickly – the Angels need a catcher after 2012.

          • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

            In 2011, three catchers earned $11 million or more, according to USA today.  Joe Mauer ($23 million), Jorge Posada ($13.2 million) and Victor Martinez ($12 million).

            Mauer is in a world of his own, as is his contract, but it is hard to think of Posada and Martinez being comparables either.  Martinez isn’t even a catcher – he’s a DH.

            If your statement is true about elite catchers, it is because the sample size is ridiculously small.  Most of the current “elite” catchers (other than Mauer, who may or may not even be a catcher) are still too young.  McCann, Montero, Wieters – none of them have been able to test free agency yet.

            I’d be interested to see the salary commanded by Montero or McCann before passing judgement.  One or both should be in the neighborhood of $12 million if Molina’s deal was reasonable.

          •  @jred1979:disqus Beat me to the punch Jred, well said

            @rayderousse:disqus Ray, Yadier is a very solid catcher and his biggest asset is defense.  But teams don’t spend large amounts on defensive catchers.  Is he elite?  That’s open to interpretation.  when I think elite i think Mauer, Pudge, etc. catchers who are heads & above every other catcher. 

  5. Worth every penny! With the immense number of pitching prospects in the minor leagues this move was essential going forward for the Birds. 

    Can’t wait for the 8th!

    • MB923 3 years ago

      I’m sure the Cardinals could have extended him for many many pennies less.

      • they are going to have flexibility with more cost controlled players on the way.  This is the deepest the Cards minor league system has ever been.  Molina is a cornerstone of the franchise and while he did receive market value before he hit the open market, its done and thats all most Cards fans are going to care about.

        • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

          I wish people would understand that there is a big difference between “have the money to spend” and “should spend the money”.

          If the Cardinals had $5 million more available this year, Oswalt would be in the rotation, and Westbrook would be riding pine.  $3 million could have been the difference between Skip Shumaker and a real second baseman.  The Cardinals also would have loved to retain Octavio Dotel for a veteran presence in the bullpen, but couldn’t afford it, despite his lower price tag.

          This may or may not be a bad signing, and I can’t guarantee that he wouldn’t have gotten as much or more on the open market, but I hate seeing fans use variations of the “we have the money, so it doesn’t matter if we overpay” argument.  Every penny counts – even they Yankees have a budget.

          (Edit made to correct typo on Skip Shumaker’s position)

          • angels4life 3 years ago

            skip schumaker is a second baseman, and as of right now the starting job
            goes to taylor greene. As for third base, isn’t David Freese last
            year’s finals’ mvp? I think that makes him a real third baseman

          • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

            I apologize for the typo (moving to quickly).  I have no confidence in either Tyler Greene or Skip Shumaker at second base.  That is the position I intended (edit made).

          • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

            And it turns out, I can’t spell “too” either…. *grumble*

          • I did not have confidence in Ryan Theriot last year… who cares. We won the World Series & he is gone. Who cares???

          • BlueCatuli 3 years ago

            Is David Tyree and elite wide receiver?

          • Ben Fink 3 years ago

            World Series MVP does not equal “real” baseball player. A seven game performance hardly correlates to the next 162 game season.
            Let’s look at recent World Series MVP winners:
            -David Eckstein, posted a fangraphs WAR of 1.0 the next year
            -Hideki Matsui, WAR of 1.5 the next year
            -Edgar Renteria, WAR of .9

            Sure David Freese could prove to be a good third basemen, but winning the World Series MVP is no indicator of that

          • what are finals? are we talking basketball?

          • stl_cards16 3 years ago

            I don’t even know where to start with that post. Let’s just say every point you tried to make was wrong.

          • 12in12 3 years ago

            A couple of quick points…no one knows how much it would take to sign Oswalt or how healthy he is and although I would love Oswalt, and I believe he is an upgrade to Westbrook, paying Westbrook to ride the bench or be an expensive swing man doesn’t make the Cardinals better because Westbrook would take a spot from someone younger who should be in the pen. Also, Westbrook maybe the best fifth starter in the NL as it is. He is at least in the conversation…Oswalt just wasn’t a good fit with the birds…Schumaker has never and will never play 3B. David Freese is the Cardinal third baseman. Skip is a UTILITY man. He will play second and all 3 OF spots, and IMO is very underrated…Octavio Dotel left because the Cardinals have at least 5 cheaper RH bullpen arms that are comparable or better…Although I agree that working within a budget is true, the team sets the budget. The Cardinals could easily afford a $150mil payroll if the owners were not concerned about the bottom line. As owners, I think that they shouldn’t cut their profits by that margin at all, but they CAN “afford” more than you think they can…Good teams build through excellent drafts, consistent, cost controlled farm system talent, resigning their vets who they deem as necessary guys, supplement pieces in free agency, and avoid injuries. The Cardinals just signed a guy who they deem necessary and paid handsomely for him. That is the market for quality players and you are correct, it may not pan out, but it is a bet that I can live with to keep Molina for the foreseeable future.

          • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

            Third base for Shumaker was a typo (which has since been edited).  My point (which apparently wasn’t clear) comes from Cardinals history.  They almost never overpay.  The Cardinals win championships by getting value.  I think Molina is worth almost exactly what he got.  That isn’t value.

            I’m not calling this a bad singing.  I think it more likely he gets less in free agency (because teams undervalue defense), but we’ll never know.  What I am arguing is that you shouldn’t spend money just because you “can”.  The original poster stated that it was ok, because they have payroll flexibility with young cheap talent.  I think the flexibility to overpay a player could be used to upgrade a different position instead, and the team would be better for it.

      • not a chance… he would be wearing amother jersey next season.

        • MB923 3 years ago

          I disagree. I bet the Cards could have got him for $60 mil

  6. Cards_Fanboy 3 years ago

    That’s more than I thought he’d get paid, but still worth it.  His bat keeps getting better.  Cards will probably 3-peat now.

  7. Ken Roucka 3 years ago

    That’s a bad deal. He’s already caught nearly 1000 games before the age of thirty and averaged 138 caught the past three years. He got suspiciously more powerful this year after seven years in the league. He had a .371 SLG from ’07-’10 averaging 6 HR and 19 doubles and jumps to a .465 SLG with 14 HR & 32 doubles. I’m betting he reverts back to his pre 2011 form which is a great defensive catcher with a respectable bat not worth anywhere near $15M per year.

  8. MadmanTX 3 years ago

    Probably a good deal: after the contract ends, his skills will be fading like they did for Pudge.

  9. Ferrariman 3 years ago

    too much AAV but good chance he’ll be worth it.  Even if he isn’t, I’m glad that we extended him. 

  10. Joey E 3 years ago

    lol 5/75. what a joke

  11. riotmute 3 years ago

    It’s not a hometown discount but the Cardinals need Molina long term and now they get him; they have a ton of young pitchers coming up over the next three years and now they have a premium position nailed down and cost controlled. I like it

  12. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    Gotta love the mutual options.  Other than the extra million or so on the buyout, is there any less useful or valuable clause? 

  13. $22264602 3 years ago

    Mauers contract is absolutely insane.

  14. SpfldCynic 3 years ago

    makes Kansas City’s Sal Perez deal look even better.

  15. citizen 3 years ago

    damn. thats another 5 years of tim mccarver only taking about the molinas.

  16. Worse contract than Pujols

  17. I bet with Matheny being manager, he will help Molina more on catching and with McGwire as a hitting coach, then the is why his numbers being increasing. Who knows if he will have another good season or 2.

  18. Leonard Washington 3 years ago

    Definitely a pretty substantial overpay. I would say by about 15M. Guy is a great defensive catcher and team mate but not a 15M a season player. I would have gone 10M, 11M, 12M, 13M, 14M to give him an even 60M and maybe then toss in some typical incentives like 200K for gold gloves, 500K-1M WS MVP type of stuff. I like that the contract will end at his 35 season though so it gives the Cards some solid security. Glad he is staying a Cardinal.

  19. A little bit of overpayment, but a necessary overpayment. Yadi is the most popular player on the team and it would make the organization look even worse to lose another face of their franchise. In addition, the Cardinals have a young and very talented pitching staff coming up, ie Martinez and Miller, and having a smart catcher behind the plate will do wonders for them. He can handle the pitching staff and he is a weapon behind the dish. Furthermore, I’ll always love Yadi for the spat with Phillips! I’d much rather see him here than Alberto. Enjoy California and let’s go Rangers!

  20. hawkny1 3 years ago

    Yadier will be 30 on July 13 so the Redbirds are committing $72M to their catcher when he is about to enter the period of his career when many catchers begin to physically break down.   Of course older brothers Benjie and Jose Molina are still playing into their late 30’s…so the Cards front office must be banking on blood being thicker than water, genetically speaking, to commit so much money to their star catcher, for so long.  

  21. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    If he would have gotten less on the open market, then the Cardinals overpaid, and should have spent that money elsewhere.  How is this hard to understand?  He may be “worth” $15 million, but if the market was only $12, then it is an overpay.  A gallon of gas may be worth $3.60, but if you have the opportunity to buy it at $3.20 instead, and choose not to, how smart is that?

    I want my team to put the best possible lineup forward.  If you overpay somewhere, you must underpay elsewhere if you work within a budget. 

  22. I doubt he mean suspicious in relation to steroids. Using context clues I’m assuming that he means it will just be hard for him to put up the same numbers. Doesn’t seem so “jaded” to me.

  23. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    Very well said

  24. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    Your argument is completely different than what I put forward, and I don’t disagree.   I am not now, nor have I ever, argued that saving money, or reducing risk, is a bad thing.  I think that spending money just because you can, or not caring whether or not you overpay is a bad thing.  People are reacting to my argument without understanding what I’m saying.  You’ll note that I haven’t said this is a bad deal, but everyone is reacting as though I was.

    If the Cardinals felt that he would get as much or more on the open market (or as I would guess, would be willing to take LESS just to leave if he felt insulted), then signing him makes sense. 

    However, being ABLE to sign him isn’t a good reason.  If it were, they could have signed him to $20 million a year just as easily – they’ll be able to afford it after this year.

    If the Cardinals felt that this is a money saving move, or at least cost neutral (would have paid him $15 million anyway, had he gone to free agency), it makes sense, assuming they also felt he was worth the cost.  I haven’t called this a bad signing for just that reason.  I don’t know what he would have gotten.

    My original point hasn’t changed, and not a single person has put a valid argument as to why it isn’t true.  “We can afford it” is a terrible way to run a business, and I hate when fans use that argument.  “We think he would have gotten more otherwise” makes sense.  I may disagree with their assessment, but at least I’ll accept that they thought it through.

  25. Redbirds16 3 years ago

    Molina is not a gallon of gas. Standard market practices don’t apply to baseball players, especially elite players like Molina, Pujols, Fielder, Texiera, AGon, Reyes, etc…

    Owners pay what they have to/can afford/sometimes can’t afford to get the players they need to field the team they desire. As we’ve seen with every elite player to hit free agency, it only takes one owner out there to alter the market for his services.

  26. Ken Roucka 3 years ago

    I meant it both ways Nick.

    homeruntrot, every fan should be jaded. People always focus on the guys that start hitting 30, 40 or 50+ home runs but there are plenty of guys that were hitting single digit HR and then started to hit 15, 20 or 25 that flew under the radar.

    Steve Finley comes to mind. From ’90 – ’95 he averaged 8 HR with a .397 SLG then at the age of 31 thru the age of 39 he averages 26 HR with a .489 SLG. Could he have become a better hitter naturally? Possible, but we have to consider the times. Walking blind folded through life is no way to go.

  27. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    That is a different argument than I made.  See my response to homeruntrot below.  People are assuming I’m against the Molina signing.  I’m not.  I’m against the “well, we can afford it, so it doesn’t matter if we overpaid” thought.

  28. Ben Fink 3 years ago

    Molina thanks you for the only time he’ll ever be favorably mentioned with Pujols, Fielder and AGon

  29. dunnetg 3 years ago

    A single season deviation really doesn’t indicate anything.  Maybe he got better, maybe he’s using undetectable juice, and maybe he just lucked into a lofting a few more flyballs into the jetstream at Wrigley (3 HR in 20 AB there.)  One season of outlier performance just doesn’t mean all that much.

  30. 12in12 3 years ago

    Have you heard of Roger Maris? Hack Wilson? Norm Cash? Wade Boggs? Joe Medwick? Each of these players have had statistical anomalies in the power department for one special season, much greater than Molina’s season. The last time I looked, none of these players were under suspicion of PEDs. It is very short-sighted to believe that every good season is the result of juice. There are a number of variables and many more instances throughout baseball history of strange seasons due to variables other than steroids. I do agree that if you look at anyone of these guys’ careers, with the exception of Boggs, and a few other nice seasons from the players above, that Molina will regress back to his career norms, which is exactly what the Cardinals paid for here. With his defense, intangibles, and last year’s slash line as career norms, Molina would’ve been even more expensive…Blind folded and naive isn’t good, but nervous and predetermined is worse.

  31. Ken Roucka 3 years ago

    “Maybe he got better…”

    Maybe, but most guys don’t take seven years to go from marginal offensive contributor to a plus.

    “…maybe he’s using undetectable juice…”

    Maybe, which means he needs to keep taking it to make the contract worth it. FYI, it’s not undetectable juice people are taking now, it’s fasting acting testosterone which gets out of the system in 24 hours.

    “…maybe he just lucked into a lofting a few more flyballs into the jetstream at Wrigley (3 HR in 20 AB there.)  One season of outlier performance just doesn’t mean all that much.”

    One season out outlier performance doesn’t mean all that much which is why you shouldn’t give someone a 5 year contract based on it. His Wrigley performance doesn’t account for all his improvement and would also be a poor reason to base giving him a 5 year contract.

    Any way you look at it, it doesn’t make sense.

  32. Ken Roucka 3 years ago

    Hack Wilson , Roger Maris, Norm Cash & Wade Booggs had their HR surges in seasons (1930, 1961, 1961 & 1987 respectively) that the ENTIRE game had surges, throw them out.

    Not sure were you’re going with Medwick. He had legitimate power even before (and after) he hit 31 in 1937.

    “Each of these players have had statistical anomalies in the power department…”

    Yes they did, except Medwick, and a smart franchise wouldn’t give Roger Maris or Norm Cash a five year deal based on their 1961 season alone. Which is what the Cards did with Molina.

    If Molina is as good for most of this year deal as he was in 2011 then it could well be worth it. If he is what he was the five years prior to 2011 it will be an albatross.

    Wilson and Medwick played in the 30’s, Hitler’s doctors just started to experiment with the idea of synthetic testosterone then so mentioning them is obsurd. Cash and Maris played in the 60’s and there’s little evidence that even body builders (who were the early adopters) like Steve Reeves used steroids back then so their names are also ridiculous.

    Boggs is the only one in that list one could suspect but since there is the league wide anomoly that one year it would be unfair to accuse him.

  33. dunnetg 3 years ago

    I wasn’t addressing the value of the deal – I think it’s an overpay for STL.  I was addressing the numbers being suspicious, which I really don’t think they are, as single season outliers happen all the time.  A season of 14 homers from Molina doesn’t look that odd, especially when you consider more than 20% of that total came in a single three-game series at Chicago.

    And good edit, btw 😉

  34. dunnetg 3 years ago

    I wasn’t addressing the value of the deal – I think it’s an overpay for STL.  I was addressing the numbers being suspicious, which I really don’t think they are, as single season outliers happen all the time.  A season of 14 homers from Molina doesn’t look that odd, especially when you consider more than 20% of that total came in a single three-game series at Chicago.

    And good edit, btw 😉

  35. Ken Roucka 3 years ago

    I have no doubt Molina brings alot to the team and clubhouse. He seems like a decent guy by all appearances but you pay players by performance (numbers) and more importantly reasonably projectable future performance not past performance. I certainly don’t want an world class jerk in the clubhouse but most guys aren’t that anyway and no matter how many great guys you bring in there will still be some players who don’t get along so paying for “chemistry” is not measurable or rational.

    If you throw out his best year (2011) and his worst year (2006) and average the rest you get a guy who you just can’t make an arguement for paying that much money to. And you can’t reasonably project that he’ll repeat his 2011 season over the next five years. Maybe he will…maybe.

  36. Ken Roucka 3 years ago

    I don’t think we should get past the PED era, because we’re still in it and always will be. If you respect the game you have to respect its past and what is going on now is an absolute slap in the face of the past.

  37. Ken Roucka 3 years ago

    I’ve acknowledged Molina’s defensive prowess in this thread. The truth is however there is no truly accurate defensive metric to properly quantify it’s value for something like runs saved and most defensive players retain their status as a defensive whiz based on reputation alone because of that. Ozzie was great but was getting GG’s well past his defensive prime. The same will probably be true for Molina at some point in the near future. Writers for BP have said that most players reach their defensive peak very early in their career (I think years 3-5) and steadily decline from that point on. If that’s the case Molina is already on the decline and that would just be another thing the Cards are paying for that they shouldn’t be.

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