NL Central Notes: Molina, Astros, Das

There's been lots of Pirates buzz today, following Andrew McCutchen's six year, $51.5MM contract extension. Here are some notes on the rest of the division…

  • Yadier Molina's representatives were preparing to aim for a seven-year deal in the $140MM range if the catcher had reached free agency, according to Jon Heyman of Some teams might have been willing to part with that kind of cash for Molina, an elite two-way player. "He's like the Deion Sanders of catchers,'' one executive told Heyman. Molina, who would have been eligible for free agency following the 2012 season, signed a five-year, $75MM extension with the Cardinals last week.
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow tells Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that he believes discipline is necessary for building an MLB team. “The analogy I use is blackjack,” Luhnow said. “You play perfect strategy over a long haul, that’s going to be your best outcome." Tim Dierkes spoke with Luhnow last week.
  • Arbitrator Shyam Das was recently in the news for ruling in favor of Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, but as Cary Spivak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explains, the 67-year-old former law professor has ruled on a number of important MLB issues in the past. Das has dealt with trades, player discipline and other disputes between the players' union and MLB. Spivak's piece offers a personal look at the low-profile arbitrator.

42 Responses to NL Central Notes: Molina, Astros, Das Leave a Reply

  1. $140/7 for molina? holy schnikes

    • imachainsaw 3 years ago

      he wouldn’t have actually gotten that much, that’s just how much he and his agent would ask for. I mean what team in their right mind would pay $20M to a catcher with a lifetime .707 OPS, one that produces less than 1 oWAR per year?

      •  the cards just paid $15M to that same catcher

        • Feels like a knee-jerk reaction to them losing Pujols.

          • Knee jerk… Cardinals signed Carpenter & Berkman knowing AP might leave & Signed Beltran since. Hardly a knee jerk. Cardinals will be good AGAIN!!!

  2. Lastings 3 years ago

    Jeff Luhnow believes the Astros need discipline? Hmm… I can picture a team speech right now… “You guys are soft! You lack discipline. We’ll I’ve got news for you. You are mine now. You belong to me!”

  3. Wek 3 years ago

    Career line of .274/.331/.377 with a .707 OPS doesn’t scream “an elite two-way player”. Even with an elite defense no GM in their right mind would give him 7/$140mil. Even 5/$75mil is an overpay. 

    • Taskmaster75 3 years ago

      I can see the rationale for thinking of him as a “two-way player”. If you view a contract not as what the player has done but what he can give you, then his last few seasons illustrate that (Certainly his most recent one does), and there’s no question that Molina is the best defensive catcher in the game. Would I give a 7/140 contract to a catcher? Hell no. I can get more wins for my money from other positions.

    • Agreed.  I thought the deal was nuts when I heard it announced, especially since the Cards weren’t bidding with anyone else.  He is simply a light hitting defensive minded catcher on the wrong side of his prime who got paid far more than he’s worth.  This deal is going to look really bad a few years down the line when he is barely breaking a 600 OPS and his defensive skills are on a sharp decline.

      • imachainsaw 3 years ago

         i doubt his defense is gonna regress much, good defensive catchers generally remain good defensive catchers throughout their careers. pudge to this day remains a good defensive catcher and he’s been doing it for 21 seasons. i do think sooner than later, yadi will reach the point where his (lack of) offense and defense cancel out, and he’ll still be making $15M/yr

    • 5/75 isn’t an overpay. Just because people were guessing low everyone thinks this is a terrible deal. I’m incredibly happy he got that deal. Defense deserves to get paid as well.

    • Thomas Wilson 3 years ago

      Well over the last 4 years he has hit .291/.348/.396 and last year he hit .305/.349/.465 that made him the third best offensive catcher in the league behind DH Napoli(.344BABIP pre 2011 career .293BABIP) and Avila(.366BABIP pre 2011 Career .285BABIP) so while you could certainly argue that he is behing McCann, Mauer, Montero and maybe Avila as a offensive Catcher over the next 5 years Molina is by far the superior defender and is within 1 1/2 years of everyone but Avila on that list

  4. $23213933 3 years ago

    It only takes one GM to pay him what he wants. Just look at how much Pujols got paid. The Cards were smart to lock him up for $15M.

    • Wek 3 years ago

      Why you are comparing Pujols with Molina is beyond me. You can argue all you want but the Cardinals overpaid for Molina.

      • $23213933 3 years ago

        By no means am I comparing Pujols and Molina as players. I could’ve used Jayson Werth, Michael Cuddyer, etc. as an example of someone who wanted to get paid and did because one GM was willing to pony up.

        Every free agent is overpaid — that’s how you get them to sign! I’d rather have Molina for $15M than Einar Diaz for $2M.

      • stl_cards16 3 years ago

        The Cardinals may have overpaid for Molina, I don’t think so. But either way, there is a MUCH greater chance Yadi is worth his contract than Pujols is worth his. That can’t even be argued.

      • stl_cards16 3 years ago

        The Cardinals may have overpaid for Molina, I don’t think so. But either way, there is a MUCH greater chance Yadi is worth his contract than Pujols is worth his. That can’t even be argued.

    • Exactly.

  5. Leonard Washington 3 years ago

    140M over 7 years for Yadier Molina…….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!! Who does his agent think he is repping? A young Yogi Berra or something? Wow. 

  6. That’s insane for Molina if he was actually gonna go after that the Cardinals got off cheap

  7. lefty177 3 years ago

    looks like Molina would’ve been this year’s Johnny Damon

  8. WolandJR 3 years ago

    I would also like $140 million to be pretty good at my job.

    • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

      Molina also makes his employers more than you most likely will make yours.

      • gmenfan 3 years ago

        I think his point is that Molina is a pretty good, but by no means the best, catcher in baseball but is getting paid as if he’s the best(I’m not acknowledging Mauer’s contract because its to ridiculous and absurd to be real). It’s like being a “pretty” good lunch lady at an elementary school but getting paid as if you sling the best Salisbury Steak and mashed potatoes in town.

        • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

          Strangest analogy I’ve seen on here lol

          • gmenfan 3 years ago

             Sorry, a few too many adult beverages had been consumed prior to when that was written.

        • Thomas Wilson 3 years ago

          Wait until Mccann gets paid, Molina’s 14.8 WAR over the last 4 years is right behind Mccann, and both trail Mauer by quite a bit

        • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

          I most certainly would say that if you weigh offense and defense he IS the best C in the game, or at least in 2011. The question is that with “eh” level power and an abismall walk rate will he be able to sustain that level of offensive production and I think that question is a loud “NO”. 

          Mauer, to my knowledge, is the only $20 mil C and before he signed his contract he was incredibly good with the bat and, at minimum, decent with the glove. Molina is no Mauer. 

          • gmenfan 3 years ago

            You are completely right about the sustainability of his 2011 stats. It seems like he got paid for one above average season and not what his likely production will be in the future.

            2011: .305/.349/.465 w/ 14 HR, 65 RBI, 126 OPS+
            05-10AVG: .268/.327/.361 w/ 6 HR, 52 RBI, 81 OPS+

            But as you said, its difficult to quantify the value of defense in there.

            My comments on Mauer were not said in terms of talent as his skill with the bat is unreal and as you said, he’s a decent defender as well. Probably not an overpay at the time, but in light of his injury issues since and with an uncertain future at the position, it looks like an ugly contract now.

  9. tomymogo 3 years ago

    6 years, 100 million for McCann? first 100 million contract in the history of ATL if that happens

    • gmenfan 3 years ago

      You’d have to think so.

      Since McCann came into the league …

      McCann: .286/.358/.482 w/136HR, 537 RBI, 122 OPS+, .990 F%
      Molina: .274/.331/.377 w/53HR, 375 RBI, 89 OPS+, .993 F%

    • Amish_willy 3 years ago

      Chances of happening… 5-10%??

      My hunch says their best offer will be a year and 20m less then that figure, and that’s the high-end. A big bodied dude like him, I’d be reluctant giving him a 6 year deal with him still under control for 2 years especially with a young future star already at 1b. I think they’ll use their resources elsewhere and move on by 2014.

    • Andy_B 3 years ago

      If the yankees can stop gap with Russel Martin for the next two years, you’ll  probably be seeing him move on to New York.

      • nictonjr 3 years ago

        The old Yankees.  Yes.  The new Yankees. Nope.  They’re pinching pennies starting in 2013. Just like the Red Sox this off season…

  10. Yadier for $140MM…. Uhh…

  11. Yadier for $140MM…. Uhh…

  12. Ben Fink 3 years ago

    I find it hard to believe that they would take 5 years 75 million for his last contract if they honestly believed he was worth that much, even if he did want to give the Birds a discount.
    Heyman strikes again!

  13. Jeff Luhnow is absolutely correct with his blackjack analogy.  Even if the Astros play perfect strategy, they will still end up losing.

  14. tomymogo 3 years ago

    maybe venezuelan pesos lol

  15. Tko11 3 years ago

    Snyder Logic: If he can throw a baseball, he can throw a football.

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