Yadier Molina Rumors

Cardinals To Pick Up Yadier Molina’s Option

MLB.com's Matthew Leach reports that Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said he expects to exercise Yadier Molina's $7MM club option tomorrow. B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com echoed the statement and took it one step further, stating that Mozeliak has confirmed the option will be picked up (Twitter link).

There was never any doubt as to whether or not Molina would be back in 2012. The 28-year-old Puerto Rico native is well-renowned for his prowess behind the plate, but he also turned in the finest offensive season of his career in 2011. Molina battted .305/.349/.465 and swatted a career-high 14 homers in 518 plate appearances for the World Champion Cardinals.

Molina signed a four-year, $15.5MM deal in lieu of arbitration back in January of 2008. This option year pushes the total value of his contract to $21.75MM over five years.

International Links: Reyes, Molina, Anderson

Links in three very different-sounding accents of Spanish…

  • Jose Reyes has heard the rumors, and he met with Mets GM Sandy Alderson last week to discuss them, the shortstop told Juan Mercado at the Dominican paper El Dia. "[Alderson] assured me that [a trade] wouldn't happen, however, I recognize that this is a business," Reyes said. He added that the Mets picking up his $11MM option for 2011 was a "good sign," but reiterated his hopes for the future, saying, "I've repeated many times that I don't want to leave the Mets, since I feel very comfortable here."
  • Yadier Molina says the Cardinals have approached his elder brother Bengie about backing him up at catcher next season. "They want to get him, but they're waiting for his decision," Yadier told Lester Jimenez at the Puerto Rican daily Primera Hora. The younger Molina said he was confident Bengie could still handle a starting job at 36, and still might seek a contract as such, "but if he's thinking of retirement and wants to take it easy as a backup catcher, then I want him here with me."
  • The Rays' options to replace Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford could extend beyond in-house options Dan Johnson and Desmond Jennings, or free agents such as Edwin Encarnacion. The agent for Leslie Anderson told El Nuevo Herald's Jorge Ebro that the versatile Cuban prospect will be in the mix for both the Ray's outfield and first base openings this spring. After signing a four-year, $3.75MM deal last March, Anderson put up a combined .302/.359/.442 line in 422 PAs across the Rays system, including a .328/.359/.418 showing at Triple-A Durham.

Regular Season Award Winners Cashing In

Players take a lot of pride in individual awards. While most will say that team success outweighs winning a Cy Young, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, or MVP, there's no question that these achievements still serve as highlights in any player's career. There's more to it than just that, though. Many players have clauses in their contracts which award them extra cash for taking home these individual marks of excellence. As we're in the midst of award season currently, let's take a look at who's cashed in so far:

  • Mark Buehrle: The Chicago lefty took home his second Gold Glove and was rewarded with an extra $25K on top of his $14MM salary.
  • Joe Mauer: Minnesota's catcher earned his third Gold Glove and his fourth All Star nod, each netting him another $25K on top of his $12.5MM salary.
  • Evan Longoria: Longo grabbed his second Gold Glove and his third All Star appearance, bringing in $25K and $50K, respectively, for an additional $75K on top of his ridiculously affordable $950K salary.
  • Franklin Gutierrez: Seattle's standout center fielder finally took home a Gold Glove after missing out last season despite a terrific performance, and he'll bring home $50K to go along with his $2MM salary.
  • Yadier Molina: Both Molina's second straight All Star selection and third straight Gold Glove will earn him $50K, for a total of $100K, pushing his 2010 earnings to $4.35MM.
  • Albert Pujols: The NL's best player took home $25K for his All Star selection, $50K for his second Gold Glove, and $50K for his sixth Silver Slugger. Depending on where he finishes in the MVP voting, he'll take home $50K (third), $100K (second), or $200K (first).
  • Brandon Phillips: His second Gold Glove earned him a whopping $250K, as it caused his 2011 salary to increase from $11MM to $11.25MM.
  • Scott Rolen: Gold Gloves are nothing new for Rolen. He earned his eighth this season, and took home an additional $50K as a result. He also earned $25K for his sixth career All Star selection, for a total of $75K on top of his $6.5MM payday.
  • Troy Tulowitzki: It was a big year for Tulo, who earned his first All Star selection ($25K), Gold Glove ($25K), and Silver Slugger ($50K) to go along with his $3.5MM salary.
  • Michael Bourn: Bourn's second Gold Glove was good for $25K on top of his $2.4MM salary.
  • Shane Victorino: The Flyin' Hawaiian's third consecutive Gold Glove gave him a $50K bonus on top of his $5MM salary.
  • Matt Holliday: His fifth NL Silver Slugger brought in $50K, as did his All Star Selection, netting him $100K in addition to the $17MM he had already earned.
  • Felix Hernandez: King Felix's 2010 Cy Young earned him a cool million dollars, as his 2011 salary will now increase from $10MM to $11MM.
  • David Price: The sensational lefty's second-place Cy Young finish earned him $80K on top of his $1MM salary.
  • Jered Weaver: The AL strikeout king's fifth place finish in the Cy Young voting earned him $50K.
  • Adam Wainwright: A second place finish in the 2010 Cy Young voting earned Wainwright an additional $100K on top of his meager $4.65MM salary.
  • Ubaldo Jimenez: His third-place finish in the Cy Young voting added $50K to his dirt cheap $1.25MM salary.

Obviously, this isn't a complete list, as not all players' award clauses are available to the public. Still, that's a total of over $2MM in award bonuses, with the MVPs still to come this week.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.

Odds & Ends: Miller, Laird, Fielder, V-Mart

As the Giants pick up a major win over the Rockies tonight, here are some news items….

The 2012 Free Agent Class

Jeff Euston of Cot's Baseball Contracts recently posted an unofficial list of players who will become free agents after the 2011 season. That free agent class will be highlighted by a trio of first basemen: Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez, and Ryan Howard, though there's a chance Albert Pujols will join them if he and the Cardinals can't work out an extension. 

Some other notable players scheduled to become free agents after 2011 include Jason Bartlett, Carlos Beltran, Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, Heath Bell, and Jonathan Papelbon. Robinson Cano, Yadier Molina, Grady Sizemore, and Matt Cain may also become free agents if their club options for 2012 are declined. 

Obviously a lot will change between now and then, but it's never too early to look ahead!

Yadier Molina Signs Extension With Cards

The Cardinals signed catcher Yadier Molina to a four-year deal today.  The 25 year-old defensive whiz hit .275/.340/.368 in ’07.

The specifics: the package is worth $15.5MM.  The salaries are $1.75MM in ’08, $3.25MM in ’09, $4.25MM in ’10, and $5.25MM in ’11.  The 2012 option is for $7MM.  It’s hard (at least for me) to place a dollar value on catcher defense.  But we know Molina is very good, and there are signs he could even become a plus with the bat.  This seems a decent signing by John Mozeliak.

Cardinals Rumors: Ankiel, Molina

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a new column up this morning regarding the Cardinals’ arbitration-eligible players.  This year they have Rick Ankiel, Yadier Molina, and Todd Wellemeyer.

Goold spoke to Scott Boras regarding Ankiel’s situation, which is definitely a unique one.  Salaries for arb-eligible players are often determined by looking at comparables, but Ankiel doesn’t really have any (Babe Ruth doesn’t quite fit).  Ankiel has four years of service time; he’ll be a free agent after the 2009 season.

Molina has three years of service time, so he’s under team control through 2010.  Goold says a multiyear deal for Molina is likely to be discussed.