“The Cardinals have had continuing discussions” with Yadier Molina’s representatives, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes, as the Cards try to find common ground with their longtime catcher on a new contract. Molina will officially hit free agency five days after the end of the World Series, giving the Cardinals roughly a week to come to terms on a contract extension that would keep Molina off the open market.
Melvin Roman, Molina’s agent, recently stated that his client is looking for a two-year deal. Molina himself indicated last April that he is willing to play for another team than the Cardinals if it means extending his career, though that also came a few months after Molina said he intended to remain a lifetime Cardinal.
It remains to be seen if the two sides can strike a deal this close to the opening of free agency, as Goold indicated that though Molina is “prioritizing a return to the Cardinals,” the veteran catcher is willing “to hear what other teams think of him.” Molina has never been a free agent during his 17-year career, thanks to three previous contract extensions with St. Louis.
If Molina did leave, could Adam Wainwright follow? The right-hander is also a free agent, and after 15 seasons in a Cardinals uniform, has also indicated a preference to remain with his longtime franchise. In a recent radio interview on the Scoops With Danny Mac show (audio link), Wainwright said he and Molina had briefly discussed their impending free agencies, with the hurler asking his catcher what his future held.
“He goes, ’I don’t know, but let’s go somewhere together.’ I said I agree, let’s go somewhere together,” Wainwright said.
These comments could simply be idle, best-case-scenario chatter between teammates, as obviously Wainwright and Molina have a strong relationship after so many years playing together. From a more practical standpoint, going into free agency as something of an unofficial package deal could be difficult to coordinate, as Wainwright and Molina are represented by different agencies. And, Wainwright continued to stress that ideally, both players would continue playing together as Cardinals.
“Neither one of us wants to leave St. Louis,” Wainwright said. “We both want to be there, so we’ll see what happens. I know that times are weird…and the payroll flexibility is probably not what Mo [president of baseball operations John Mozeliak] wishes it was, but we’ll see. I don’t know.”
After injuries threatened to derail his career, Wainwright has pitched very well the last two seasons, including a 3.15 ERA, 3.60 K/BB rate, and 7.4 K/9 over 65 2/3 innings in 2020. On the flip side, Molina has had consecutive subpar years at the plate, though his 2020 performance was undoubtedly impacted by a three-week absence due to a positive COVID-19 test.
I don’t see how the Cards let Molina go. Not only is he the franchise icon, he still hits, he knows the pitching staff, he still has a great arm to second base, and most of all, he’s a leader in that clubhouse. If the Cards want to make the playoffs in 2021, they will stick with Molina. Give him what he wants.
As for Wainwright, he had a good year in 2020. He’s provides good depth and is a great 4th or 5th starter. Bring him back on another 1 year, incentive laden deal and see what happens. He’s made it clear that he’s willing to do whatever the franchise needs him to do and that includes coming out of the pen.
I may not be a Cards fan but this seems pretty clear cut to me.
I fear it is so simple that is destined to get effed up somehow.
Could the Yankees bring in the two.? Yes
The Yankees don’t need a catcher and they sure as heck don’t need Wainwright.
Yes he’s still great and he would be good as a coach
clubhouse leading doesn’t win world series championships
Skip the drama mo and just bring them back
Yadi and Darnuad to platoon with Wainwright to the Braves?
I was thinking the same thing this idea makes some sense
Honestly this team has bigger issues. Sign Molina to an extension and let him end as a Cardinal.
Some say let him go but if we aren’t willing to actually fix the OF then why not sign Molina. He isn’t an issue at all compared to how piss poor the OF is.
Not to mention Mozo the Clown would probably bring in someone worse who hit .288 for one week this season and think they have potential ignoring a .240 career minor league average.
Bet on the current team if both sides have a mutual interest. Molina will remain with the Cards.
First thought is that both would be a fit for the Mets if they do not land Realmuto. Mets blue chip catching prospect Alvarez is about 2 years away at least and Wainwright as a backend guy could make sense.
Wainwright would have been the Mets second best starter.
Both will be back because they are loyal and the free agent market is not going to be kind to them.
Perfect storm for a reunion out in anaheim? Pujols’ swan song with his buddies. Angels get a decent catcher and one of the many pitchers they need.
Of course, my bet would be that the Angels are one of the teams to claim broke this offseason, dump many of their arbitration eligible players (conveniently mostly pitchers) and not sign a single free agent. I wouldn’t be shocked if they added prospects to clear salary too. 🙁
I heard Arte Moreno has also been in touch with Ozzie Smith’s agent. His calls to Dizzy Dean have not been returned.
i like al conin
I like your thought but they have enough no. 4-5 SPs and want to compete. And their bullpen with those 14 blown saves is a priority.
C’mon, how would mgmt justify to Cardinal Nation letting these two go? They are both future red jackets, and Yadi will have his picture on the wall and a statue out front. I’m sure neither of them is looking to break the bank. A smaller salary with good incentives would likely work as it did for Waino last year.
I’m lovin’ the old iconic pitchers who are coming back into their prime form again. It is just cool to see guys like Wainwright, Verlander, Carrasco, and a couple more I’m definatley forgetting. So great.
gosh you Cards fans hate your GM
Yes, yes we do. FireMo
Yes… yes we do…. maybe most of us were just spoiled with Pujols, Edmonds, and rolen back in the Walt jockitty days…. or the days of getting a Larry Walker at the deadline…. but for years now Mo has given huge money to players who barely move the needle… carpenter, Fowler, Cecil, and paying Andrew Miller for his 2016 postseason…. while trading away players like Sandy Alcantara, Randy Arozarena, Marco Gonzales, and Luke Voit…. the one move made since 2012 that has made any significant impact is the Goldy deal, and even that came with a 130 million dollar price tag…. it’s not about the cards not spending money because they will… Its just constantly going to the wrong players under this regime who seem perfectly content to be the 2007-2016 Atlanta hawks… yes good enough to be in the playoffs but never good enough to get out of the first round… so we never win an World Series…. yes 2011 was a perfect storm and the 06 team won 83 games and rode a hot streak they were far from being dominant…. but overall mostly first round after first round exit with an occasional playoff series win here or there…. id rather have a shot at a kumar rocker or adley rutschman a the blue chip kinda guys then constantly give people like matt carpenter 60 million dollars
stlcards0911, so I guess that stretch from 2011-2014 of WS, NLCS, WS, NLCS were all first round exits then? I’m not saying Mo hasn’t made any mistakes, but to say only one move he’s made since 2012 has been significant is a bit of a stretch.
I don’t know, I would rather see competitive baseball every year, always having a chance at the post season and not tanking for draft picks. During Mo’s tenure, the Cardinals have the 2nd most wins in baseball (with the Yankees being first). I think that’s an executive that nearly any baseball fan would want running their team.
“maybe most of us were just spoiled with Pujols, Edmonds, and rolen back in the Walt jockitty days…. or the days of getting a Larry Walker at the deadline”
As a reds fan during the Pujols days…. I’d argue that’s a lot of it. There was something going on with the Pujols/Edmonds/Rolen/Carpenter/LaRussa teams that was impossible to replicate, and, frankly, arguably explain. They were all just “really good,” to the extent that it seemed at times that if a Cardinals uniform went on a previously unremarkable player, he suddenly could be a postseason hero or regular season stud. I have no evidence of any wrongdoing, I’m just explaining the experience from an opposing viewpoint. It’s something I’ve not seen any team pull off since.
The Cardinals got Pujols with the 402nd overall pick/in the 13th round. Credit where credit’s due, but there’s some good luck in getting someone ESPN named as one of the top 3 greatest first basemen of all time that late.
What you guys seem to have now is equal to what I’d typically have expected the same moves to have equated to back then: solid, but not amazing teams. Something’s changed.
stan lee the manly
Definitely not all of us. He continually gets a bad rap for the offense the last few years, which is fair. But he never gets credit for the things he’s done right, such as the pitching/defense combo that has been at the top of the league, the sneaky good trades that have led to World Series victories, the trade and sign tactics that led to dominant hitters in Holliday and Goldschmidt…you got have it just one way and he deserves credit for doing quite a bit right. Every GM has bad trades and signings, Mo is above average in his overall track record.
stan lee the manly
Can’t have it just one way*
Hmmn…no one knows about Randy Arozarena
And how he was missed by management as a 9 homer post season star
many fans think mo is still the gm. he’s not
stan lee the manly
He needs to be rated against other GMs was my point, not that his role is still named the same. He still has that same part of his job function.
There’s mutual interest in getting a deal done it’s a matter of ironing out details. He’s not going to be making 15 million a year anymore and they both know that. Molina won’t want to leave over small amounts of money nor will the Cardinals let him
Ducky Buckin Fent
Can anyone recall an instance of two players approaching free agency as a “package deal”?
I mean aside from Billy Chapel & Gus?
It’s also an especially weird concept in baseball too because team positional needs would lead to very few potential suitors. Having a pitcher helps somewhat because theoretically everyone needs pitching (although there are surely teams who won’t sign FA SP this year), but honestly how many teams actually need a catcher? Like 1/3 of the league maybe?
Seems like wainwright would be reducing his market significantly.
stan lee the manly
That’s not really the reality of it though. Yadi could have an immense impact on young catchers through his mentorship, and a lot of other teams are going to see it that way too. Any team with a young catcher in his first few years may give him whatever he wants for the developmental benefits he could have for the future.
Positional need may not be anywhere near the top of the list when suitors come calling, if they want him they will make room.
I could see that more if he wasn’t still an above average catcher, but he’s probably going to command like 2Y/$20M on the open market, so economically it makes no sense to pay for him to be a backup/player coach. If you have a young catcher do you really want to pay Molina 10 Mil a year to be on the lighter side of a time share when you likely have other roster needs?
Take SF as an example, they have Joey Bart who could obviously benefit from being around Molina, but they also need a ton of pitching so how do you justify spending on Molina over Gausman in that situation. Or LAD with Will Smith. They can pay Austin Barnes $1.5M and put that other $8.5M towards Lindor or Seager instead of paying their backup catcher 20x the amount of the starter. With how much he’s going to cost I just don’t see that many teams being interested in that. If you’re going to pay the guy $10M a year, presumably it’s because you need him to start and play.
stan lee the manly
This is all base on the assumption that Molina is going to get paid that. The market determines what he’s going to be paid, and if he doesn’t reach an elevated agreement with St. Louis, it’s not going to be 20 mil
Philly makes sense for both of these guys if JT walks.
Neither is going anywhere. They don’t strike me as guys that have any interest at all in playing somewhere else.
I say Cardinals sign both of them!!
Cardinals have nothing to lose by keeping both of the them. Neither is blocking any top prospects and both still play at a reasonably high level
Not true, actually, Rsox. Audi blocked Kelly (who’s now with the Diamondbacks), and he’s blocking Knizner right now.
Phooey. Yadi, not Audi.
Yadi is a top ten catcher in the game still…he didn’t block Kelly and he is not blocking knizner
@cards: Yadi certainly deserves much credit for his career. But at this stage, with all due respect- he maybe is still top 20, but definitely not Top 10, any longer.
Knizner is a backup at best and Herrea is a couple of seasons away so Yadi is not blocking anyone. And Kelly hit .154 in 131 PA’s with the Cardinals, so he didn’t exactly push for Yadi’s job too hard
stan lee the manly
Where exactly did your idea that Knizner is a backup come from? There are no prospect analysts that agree with that premise, he’s ALWAYS been tabbed as a starter with the capability for an above-average bat at the position.
Yes there stupid if they don’t
I think there could be a fit in Toronto. They need a reliable starter and Yadi would be a great mentor to Kirk, Jansen and McGuire.
Mo the Clown isn’t the GM people! Look for a guy named Mike Girsch but I will say he did inherite Mo’s blunders. I hope Yadi and Waino stay but I wouldnt mind seeing them in Anaheim with Pujols!
of the choice, i’d rather bring pujols here
I’ve been a sports fan all my life (60 years), but I’m really sorry, but I don’t see how any athlete should be paid 30X (or more) as much as the average worker makes. Bye-bye Yadi and Waino, just like Albert and Alex (Petro). If I have to give up one day’s pay to get one ticket/parking/food, it’s not worth it. And that doesn’t even count what I pay in cable/satellite bills and the extra I pay for items in the store that goes towards advertising for the products that sponsor professional sports. Some day America will wake up and realize they’re paying a huge amount of their take-home pay to be able to attend or watch sports.
That should have said 300X, not 30X!!!!