Baseball

Yadier Molina, Cardinals Sign Extension

Yadier Molina hands raised in celebration, clenching bat
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Yadier Molina and the St. Louis Cardinals have avoided lengthy contract negotiations. An agreement for this season was not made until January 2021. That extension is earning Molina $9 million for this season.

The news was first reported by Katie Woo of The Atlantic.

Molina has now inked a $10 million, one-year extension to return as the Cardinals backstop. This is an increase over his current contract.

Yadier Molina, by the numbers

Yadier Molina has had a solid year. With just over a month to go, Molina has hit .259/.304/.376 with eight home runs and 51 RBIs across 365 plate appearances.

In the 2019 and 2020 seasons combined, Molina batted .268/.310/.388 averages, with 14 home runs and 29 RBIs in 631 appearances.

“That’s below-average offensive production overall. It’s still fine work when considering the toll catching takes on players. Backstops have compiled just a .228/.307/.391 mark around the league. Molina’s offensive output is around par with the league average at the position.”

Anthony Franco, MLB Trade Rumors

Yadi is considered the best defensive catcher in recent baseball history. He has thrown out 17 of 40 attempted base stealers this season. That is a rate of 42.5 percent. The MLB average is 24.4 percent.

Yadier Molina still outshines the average catcher defensively.

Intangibles

Some of the most impressive attributes of Yadier Molina are the intangibles that set him apart from others.

“Molina has a reputation as one of the game’s best at the aspects of catching that are difficult or impossible to quantify. He still checks in as a viable receiver. The Cardinals no doubt believe Molina brings intangible value from a leadership perspective to the pitching staff and clubhouse.”

Anthony Franco, MLB Trade Rumors

Curtain call for Yadier Molina?

John Mozeliak, the Cardinal’s president of baseball operations, made the announcement about this extension. He referred to next year as being Molina’s “final season” to “cement his career legacy.”

What a legacy it is.

Yadier Molina will be remembered as one of the greats in Cardinals history. He was an integral part of the World Series wins in both 2006 and 2011. He will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Molina is an obvious Cardinals Hall of Famer. He will wear the red jacket. Yadi is destined to ride on a convertible around the warning track. He has always been warming-up his pitcher in the bullpen. He’s not been able to join in the festivities of Opening Day at Busch Stadium.

Dedication

Yadi will have devoted 19 seasons to the St. Louis Cardinals. This will be second only to the beloved Stan Musial, who played 22 seasons wearing the “Birds-on-the-Bat.”

Yadier Molina and pitcher Adam Wainwright have paired for a remarkable 298 games. That ranks 4th in Major League history in games started as battery mates. If the Cardinals extend 40-year-old Wainwright’s contract, the duo could very well move up to capture the record.

The Cardinals now need to turn their attention to Wainwright. A contract extension agreement with him is a must. The duo of Waino and Yadi should finish their careers together, as they have been integral parts of Cardinals Nation.

Yadier Molina’s Accolades

  • Fielding Bible Award (Catchers) 2007; 2008; 2009; 2010; 2012; 2013
  • Gold Glove Award (Catcher) — 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014; 2015; 2018
  • Platinum Glove Award (National League) — 2011; 2012; 2014; 2015
  • Defensive Player of the Year Award — 2012; 2013
  • Wilson Defensive Player of the Year 2012; 2013
  • Silver Slugger Award (National League) — 2013
  • Roberto Clemente Award — 2018

“People don’t understand how hard it is to be a catcher. To put on the equipment after you run the bases. Get hit in the face with a ball. Then take the equipment off and go hit. Do that for 130 games a year. I mean, it’s tough. So, I’ve got my respect for every catcher in the league. Every catcher in the minor leagues. Every catcher in the Little Leagues because it’s not an easy job.”

Yadier Molina

Down the line

Andrew Knizner has not been impressive, and his value has fallen in recent seasons. As Molina’s reserve, he doesn’t get a lot of playing time.

Ivan Herrera appears to be the heir-apparent to Yadi. He is currently playing Double-A ball in Springfield. He’s expected to be ready to debut in the majors in about a year. This could be a perfect chance to pass the torch.

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  1. Pingback: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals Sign Extension - Championship Sports Media

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