As things stand, Cardinals fixture Yadier Molina is slated to enter the 2020 season as a contractual lame duck. But that could change in the coming months, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The 37-year-old Molina, who’ll again pair with Matt Wieters after the latter’s recent re-signing, says he has no intention of suiting up for another organization in the future. If the St. Louis org decides to move on before Molina has had his fill of playing, he says he’ll hang up his spikes.
But Molina doesn’t expect that time to come in the near future. He indicated to assembled reporters that he thinks he can keep catching for at least two more MLB campaigns. And Goold reports that both player and team expect to hold discussions in camp on a new contract that would keep Molina under contract for 2021 and include some sort of option for yet another campaign beyond that point.
There were some signs of decline in 2019. Molina turned in one of his weaker hitting performances, slashing just .270/.312/.399 in 452 plate appearances. Molina continues to shine at blocking errant pitches, but defensive grading systems paint him as a roughly average performer in the realms of framing, and controlling the running game.
That said, Molina has trended south with the bat before only to recover. Even in a down year, he was still an acceptable performer for a backstop. And it’s awfully difficult to say that the legendary veteran is merely an average presence behind the dish, even if that is true in terms of physical skills. Molina is not only considered a clubhouse leader with few peers, but plays a critical — and more or less unmeasurable — role in preparing and managing the Cards’ pitching staff.
It seems reasonably likely that the Cardinals will sort things out in a mutually satisfactory way with Molina, having done so already several times in the past. He has already spent 16 seasons in St. Louis and will mark his two thousandth game with the team early in the 2020 campaign. The sides have already hammered out three long-term deals. The most recent one was the most interesting, as it paid Molina a hefty $20MM annual salary over three seasons (ending in the upcoming season). It’ll be interesting to see where they settle on a new deal, if indeed one comes together.
Let’s hear all the haters – <3 Yadi !!!!
i hate my father
I am a Cubs fan and I think Molina belongs in the HOF. Great catcher; just hate he plays for the Cardinals
dynamite drop in monty
Where we’re going we don’t need … roads.
No hate here! One of the greatest catchers to ever suit up in the sport. I hope he makes the HOF. He’s got my vote.
Nice to see a player of this calibre stay his entire career with one club.Not a common occurence in these days of avarice and bragging rights.Kudos to Yadi and the Cards from a Jays’ fan.
Yadi is so good at limiting the running game, hardly anybody ever tries to run on him. Maybe that’s not being reflected in the popular catcher defense stats.
dynamite drop in monty
You mean those new fancy newfangled nerd stats like … caught stealing percentage?
Vandals Took The Handles
I was 8 years old when I learned that base runners stole on the pitcher, not the catcher.
Did you decide to stop learning after age 8?
Because your statement seems to imply it makes no difference how good of a catcher is behind the plate at the time of an attempted stolen base.
All of a sudden then Molina’s CS% started going down a few seasons ago? Shame on those pitchers.
Belay there Long John Belay’tis the truth thy spake,Arrr.
Wonderful Vandals. Has nothing to do with giving Goldy 150 million bucks, extending Mikolas off a career year, and giving Carp an extension….None of those were necessarily good moves. But I guess Mo didn’t get the memo from Theo on Fowler either…..
None of those deals have been an A+. You can be successful and still be critiqued. Kind of a wild thing to imagine….Yadi just told the press he doesn’t want to play anywhere else—Why would the Cardinals bear the risk of an extension from a player with that view on things?
Caught stealing percentages can be a very misleading stat. Without checking, up until the final weeks, the Red Birds had allowed the fewest steals against, a stat that should always be used to complement percentages. If the opposition “pads” those stats with steals that come mostly at optimum times, like first and third situations, those not deemed player indifference, that should be, against extreme shifts, vs. only the optimum base runners, and against pitchers who have poor moves to first, and the like then stolen base percentages only tell part of the story. How many steals against can be a more telling stat.
Mozeliak has shown too much loyalty to his own guys in contracts. As a GM you really need to take the emotion out of it. They don’t need another Matt Carpenter type extension. I say let him play this year and see where it goes.
My exact thoughts…what is the hurry? The cardinals dictate the situation…they have already gave him a “thanks for everything contract”…why not just wait and see where they are at the end of the season….
Vandals Took The Handles
Part of the reason the Cardinals have not had 2 losing seasons in a row for decades is because of their clubhouse culture, which goes back over 50 years. The manager doesn’t have to discipline the players most of the time, it’s done by the veteran players – as with all quality teams.
Was just re-reading ‘October 1964’ by David Halberstam. In covering the Cardinals he constantly brought up incidents in which leaders such as Bill White, Bob Gibson, and Ken Boyer policed the clubhouse, and let the young players know that baseball was a team game and that even if it hurt their individual statistics, there were things they expected them to do each game as Cardinals teammates to help the team win.
MLB is not computer baseball. It’s played on the field. Under Mike Shildt the Cardinals are getting back to playing their style of baseball. Players supporting one another in helping the team win. The statistics follow…..they do not lead. Which is why Yadi’s value is so important to that team…….and why Epstein / Cubs didn’t understand that Jason Heyward’s “breakthrough” was due to the Cardinals culture – something they have no idea at all how to create with their teams, as their heads are in a computer while they talk graduate school lingo.
But that’s what the fans in St. Louis expect. They want to root for the same players year in year out. Do they love it if a Goldschmidt comes in? Of course. But then they also place players on a pedestal like Edman who came out of nowhere. Last season was the first one that Carpenter didn’t “make his money”. Two extra years for potential MVP candidate? Sure, even at 32 years old it won’t kill the team. Who knew he was not going to have another solid season?
Matt carpenter is 34 years old. Goldy was already extended and the Cardinals brass already knew Carp was a bad 3B defensively. It didn’t take a mental genius to see that was an unnecessary extension.
He’s extremely important to the Cardinals but I don’t see how they could give him close to $20m next season.
He is under contract. No need for extension. Can go year to year.
Keeping people from being surly has its benefits. Also he has the leverage of retiring and they don’t want him retiring if he is still functional. One more year at $10m with a similar vesting year could make sense for both sides.
He has no leverage…if he retires Knizner steps in…I would hate to lose Molina but he has no leverage in this situation
anyone who only wants to play for one team has almost no leverage.
RICKY PROEHL….. oh sorry. I thought we were just yelling out random names that are completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. Sometimes my tourette’s gets the better of me. My apologies.
Reds fan chiming in — Yadi will go down as one of the greats. Hate to see his career coming to an end, but I hope he’s truly capable of going another 2-3 years. However, he has the ability to go out on his own terms. I hope he stays until it’s time to go. Don’t force it, and don’t let people remember him for being an overpaid, underperformer. His value to the team is beyond measure and goes much further than simply what he does behind the plate.
Redbird great. If Molina’s performance is critical to the organization’s playoff probability this year and beyond, the redbirds are in trouble. They need to keep him happy and in the fold b/c he has organizational value for the next 30+ years (community relations, spring training, fantasy camps, autograph sessions etc). However, he is approaching the 18th green of his career and should be planning his farewell tour and get fitted for the rocking chair gifts not a K extension.
I admire the Cardinals organization for the respect they show to a player who is deserving of it.
His next contract can wait until next November. He could change his mind this year or continue his decline either way this can be hashed out next November. But If he rebounds at all 2 yr 36Mil with a mutual option for a 3rd year at 15 Mil and a 3 Mil buy out. Thats paying your generations best Cardinal 1 more fairly generous contract while pleasing the fans and Yadi.
the cuban solution
No way he’d command anywhere near that much. You’re looking at 1/10 with a mutual 2nd year at about the same.
As much as I’m ready for Wainwright and Molina to retire, I much more prefer Mozeliak to hit the bricks. He’s the idiot letting these guys dictate what they do.
Why exactly are you ready for them to retire?
He’s a troll – that’s why
Maybe you should look at wins by team over last 10 years, Cardinals are number 3. Only team to win more WS them cardinals in that time period, Boston & San Fran with cardinals winning/making to NLCS 5 out of 10 years thanks to Mo
Yadi has plenty left for at least a season or two. If anyone thinks AK today is a better option they are mistaken. You can see the wear and tear and all the innings. They have caught up to him no doubt.. but he is still a must start and can still control the flow and pace of a game with the best of them
Yadi is one of those players best served by staying with the same team. No one else will value him as highly or be as welcoming, which is as it should be. Pure objectivity would tell you he’s not worth $20M per year, but so what? If the Cardinals can afford him, and he brings value beyond WAR, why shouldn’t they continue the relationship? There aren’t a lot of players closely identified with one team, and it does create a complexity as the player ages and, inevitably, declines. Some older players want to go out
People say his a first ballot HOF, and maybe that’s true, but JAWS has him 26th. The writers can argue about it 7 years from now. For now, if you are a Cardinals fan, enjoy him.
First ballot hall of fame.
Yadi Molina and Ted Simmons are both Hall of Fame catchers. Yadi won’t likely go into the Hall on the 1st ballot. Simmons falling off the ballot on his first try was a travesty, a complete injustice. by the way, Mozeliak is a fine front office guy, the Cardinals success is proof. Yadi will get his contract settled and retire a Cardinal and the organization will be alright. Goldschmidt will be better next season, he’s worth what he’s worth. Cardinals have plenty of options and depth all over the place at the major league level and they don’t have to sign a guy to a 5 year 10 billion dollar offer. Some of you guys are tools.
Future managerial candidate if he wants it.