The Cardinals are “making major progress” in extension talks with star catcher Yadier Molina, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. With positive momentum toward a deal, it now seems an accord is “getting close,” per the report.
Molina said over the weekend that he would not be willing to discuss a new deal during the season, seemingly setting an Opening Day deadline to wrap talks up one way or another. If it doesn’t come to fruition, then the 34-year-old would almost certainly hit the open market after the season. Though his contract does include a $15MM mutual option, with a $2MM buyout, there’s little likelihood of both sides wanting to exercise that clause.
The terms under consideration aren’t clear at this point, but Heyman notes that the sides were working to bridge initial differences in the length of the new deal. Molina’s representatives opened with a four-year request, with the organization coming in at two seasons. That leaves three as the natural (and, in this case, seemingly reasonable) compromise point, though of course options could also be used to tweak the consideration in either direction.