- The Cardinals originally wanted Molina’s extension to be a two-year deal, while Molina’s camp preferred four to five years, Fan Rag’s Jon Heyman writes. The two sides met in the middle at three years. Heyman acknowledges the deal is long and expensive for a catcher in his mid-30s, but says if the Cardinals were going to bend the rules for anyone, it should be for a “legend” like Molina.
- Many fans seem to think the Cardinals overpaid, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports disagrees. Like Heyman, Rosenthal argues that Molina’s value is greater than statistics like WAR would suggest, given the hard-to-quantify value Molina creates in his work with the Cardinals’ pitching staff. Rosenthal also points out that the Cardinals franchise and the game in general are awash in money, and he describes Molina’s new deal as being partially a reward for what he’s already accomplished for the team. That last argument, of course, seems unlikely to sway fans who believe the Cardinals overpaid, although there’s no arguing his point that the Cardinals can afford to pay Molina a robust salary.
- Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also points out that the Cardinals’ new $1 billion television contract should insure the Cardinals against worries that they can’t afford Molina. Hochman describes the deal as a “statue signing” and links Molina to a line of all-time-great catchers that also includes Johnny Bench and St. Louis native Yogi Berra.
- The deal is not a “legacy contract,” says Cardinals GM John Mozeliak, via USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “We believe he can compete at the highest level, and we still feel that Yadi is one of the best catchers in the game,” Mozeliak says. “Today is not about a sun-setting career. This is about us retaining the greatest catcher ever to wear the Cardinals uniform.”