Both the Mets and Yankees have reached out to Yadier Molina’s camp to express interest in the veteran catcher, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). The Cardinals icon has also heard from at least three others, per Heyman.
It’s not surprising that either New York club would at least explore the possibility of bringing the 38-year-old Molina into the fold. As noted here at MLBTR last week, signing Molina would be a major narrative shift in the Bronx, where Gary Sanchez’s defensive struggles and prolific strikeout rates have drawn the ire of many fans. Molina, of course, is a generational defender at his position and still possesses some of the best bat-to-ball skills in baseball (13.5 percent strikeout rate in 2020).
As for the Mets, they’ve been oft-connected to J.T. Realmuto since it became clear that Steve Cohen would purchase the club from the Wilpon family. Wilson Ramos is a free agent, leaving Tomas Nido atop the team’s depth chart behind the dish. For a club with immediate postseason aspirations under new ownership, that doesn’t cut it. Molina would be a more affordable option than Realmuto, leaving more resource available to pursue other top free agents and trade targets (e.g. George Springer, Trevor Bauer, Francisco Lindor). Outgoing White Sox catcher James McCann stands out as a younger alternative as well.
Agent Melvin Roman told Heyman a couple weeks back that he’s seeking a two-year deal for Molina, and Roman told MLB.com’s Jon Morosi last week that they’ve heard from at least three clubs beyond the Cardinals. At this point, there’s no reason to call any club other than St. Louis a favorite, as the Cards clearly have the most motivation to keep Molina through the end of his career. Ostensible interest from other clubs — particularly big-market organizations out of New York — will only increase fan pressure to make a deal happen, though to this point it’s not clear that any of the teams that have expressed interest have shown a willingness to offer the two-year term that Molina and Roman seek.