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Yadier Molina on looming free agency: “It’s business”

Feb 9, 2012, 10:03 PM EDT

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It doesn’t sound like Yadier Molina is planning to offer the Cardinals much of a hometown discount in negotiations toward a long-term contract extension.

The 29-year-old catcher, who is currently slated to become a free agent five days after the conclusion of the 2012 World Series, spoke Thursday evening with Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“I love the city. I love the fans, I love the park,” said Molina. “But it’s out of my hands. Whatever they like to do is how it is. … They let Albert [Pujols] go. It’s business for the team, too. It’s out of my hands.”

Molina is regarded as one of the best — if not the best — defensive catchers in baseball. He also had a breakout season at the plate in 2011, batting .305 with a career-high .814 OPS, 14 home runs and 65 RBI in 518 plate appearances. With an equally strong 2012, he could attract a ton of interest on the open market.

  1. okwhitefalcon - Feb 9, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Oh hell, here we go again…

  2. randygnyc - Feb 9, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Why should the cardinals get a discount from him when there are at least a dozen other teams that would sign him?

    • bravojawja - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      Maybe because “I love the city. I love the fans, I love the park.”

  3. okwhitefalcon - Feb 9, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Excuse the extremely bad wordplay but the deck is really stacked against the Cards on this one.

    Yadi’s no show of the clubs “Winter Warm Up” spoke volumes for how he’s feeling about the front office these days and he’s in an absolute position of power in any negotiation moving forward.

    I suppose something could get done but I think we all know where this is headed unfortunately.

    • paperlions - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      The winter warm up is for the fans….if you are pissed at the FO and take it out on the fans….you’re a selfish asshole. Hopefully, he had some other reason not to be there.

      • okwhitefalcon - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:48 AM

        Here’s the quote from Strauss’ article regarding the Winter Warm Up:

        “Failure to appear at the Winter Warm-Up last month in downtown St. Louis or to accompany the club on its subsequent White House visit fed speculation that Molina was angry with the club and preferred to keep his distance. Molina said he made his decision for personal reasons having to do with charity work performed in Puerto Rico.”

        And a link to the entire article:

        http://m.stltoday.com/STL/db_288304/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=6pm0Ucuc&full=true#display

      • paperlions - Feb 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

        If it is charity work, I’m totally cool with that (charity > visiting with fans)…..just don’t dis the fans for a beef with the FO.

  4. doslea33 - Feb 10, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    When Yadier Molina finds a cure for cancer he will be worth the big money he wants. I love baseball but players are overpaid. I don’t care what the “market” thinks he’s worth, because I think as a society our priorities are messed up when we can accept the salaries these guys are paid without blinking. Yeah, it’s a business, but that doesn’t make it smell any better.

    • lyon810 - Feb 10, 2012 at 5:50 AM

      Yes….THIS is where we should draw the line…with Yadier Molina…

    • paperlions - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      You are aiming at the wrong target. The players earn their money for more than the owners (or any billionaire, really) “earns” theirs. If not the players, where do you want all of the money their talent generates to go? Because without the players there are no teams, no sports networks, or any other job market that is actually created because of the sport….and again, the player and fans are the life-blood of any sport…not ownership.

      • stlouis1baseball - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:55 AM

        Unfortunately, I saw this one coming.
        Hopefully, both sides can come to an agreement. Otherwise, we need a new Catcher.

      • paperlions - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:10 AM

        Yeah. I will HATE to see him go. Pujols was not looking for anything reasonable for a player of his age. If Yadi just wants market value in terms of years and dollars, such a contract shouldn’t be nearly as crippling as the Pujols deal would have been….doesn’t it seem like 4-5 years at $10M or so per should get it done?

        He should be viewed as a hell of a lot more valuable than guys like Westbrook/Lohse…we got just a little less than that.

      • stlouis1baseball - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:17 AM

        I am with you Paper. The dude’s defense flat out changes the complexity of game.
        That is a very rare commodity. How many current MLB Catchers can we say that about?
        The 4/5 years at 10 per sounds about right to me.
        Hopefully the Organization and Yadi feel the same way.

      • baccards - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        As hard as it was to see the Albert leave, to see Yadi go will be harder…He would be my first pick as an owner if I started a new team

      • stex52 - Feb 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        I hope the Cards find a way to come up with the money, or Yadi cools down a bit in his attitude. Good catchers who also hit well are a rare commodity.

    • lardin - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:50 AM

      Think of it this way. Yadier Molina is the Best plumber in St Louis. He Makes $50,000 per year. The Crappy Plumbers in the rest of the country are making $75,000 per year. Yadier looks around and thinks “I am much better plumber than those guys and they are making more money then me.” The only difference is the pay scale. Professional athletes make more money then the rest of us. Right, wrong or indifferent thats the way it is. The only way its going to change is if the people stop going to game, watching on TV and buying Merchandise. As long as sports are making money, athletes will be overpaid. Its just the way it is..

      • okwhitefalcon - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM

        I think the club would love a 4-5 year deal at 10 per although I’m not sure if that’ll even get close to what Molina and his agent will be seeking – especially if this gets all the way to free agency.

      • paperlions - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        In 2011, only 3 “catchers” made more than $7M/year: Mauer, Posada, and Martinez….so, really, only one catcher did. Last year, Yadi was the 7th highest paid catcher at only $5.3M. A 4 year deal at $10M per would be by far the highest value contract ever given to a defense first catcher.

  5. proudlycanadian - Feb 10, 2012 at 4:38 AM

    He is a Molina. His brothers have a history of playing for several teams during their career. Based on family history, expect him to want a change of scenery.

    • stlouis1baseball - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      I hear what you are saying Canadian. But (talent wise) his Brothers are just a step below Yadi.
      Don’t missunderstand me…I think they are all fine MLB players in their own right.
      Just not consistantly Gold Glove material like Yadi who is developing into a damn good hitter.
      He has always been clutch. He has always made consistent contact.
      Now…he is starting to hit for average and his Defense is still just as stellar as ever.
      His Brothers just aren’t of that caliber.
      As a result, most teams weren’t/aren’t real eager to sign them to long term deals.
      I think that certainly plays a part in his Brothers’ sort of nomad MLB careers.

  6. hotkarlsandwich - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    Do you think he’ll sign with the Reds?

    • stlouis1baseball - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      LOL! His Homerun totals are sure to go up if he signs with the Redlegs.

  7. saints97 - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    I love that he claims he has not control over whether or not he re-signs with St. Louis. It’s out of his hands. I guess God will tell him to sign like He told Pujols.

    How can a player say that where he signs is out of his hands, and no one in the media has the balls to call him on such a blatantly absurd statement?

    • saints97 - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      My apologies for the double post.

    • stlouis1baseball - Feb 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

      Point taken Saints. The “it’s out of my control” line has become a blanket statement for anyone not named Jared Weaver. It’s the easy way out.

      • cardsfanindelaware - Feb 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        The last I knew it was the Player’s signature at the bottom of the contract correct??

  8. saints97 - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    I love that he claims he has no control over whether or not he re-signs with St. Louis. It’s out of his hands. I guess God will tell him to sign like He told Pujols.

    How can a player say that where he signs is out of his hands, and no one in the media has the balls to call him on such a blatantly absurd statement?

    • paperlions - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      Agreed. It would be more honest if they used the words they mean:

      “I am going to sign for the most money. Which team offers me the most money is out of my control.”

  9. okwhitefalcon - Feb 10, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    I don’t take the “It’s out of my control” thing too seriously, it’s just player speak.

    I take it as he knows it’s a business and it’s out of his control as to the organizational making him and his agent an acceptable offer. My feeling is that Yadi’s idea of an acceptable offer and the Cards are probably a couple of years and quite a few million apart.

    It’ll be interesting to watch, the Cards have a couple of high end pitching prospects that could benefit having Molina back there as they arrive and mature and alot of $$$ coming off the books in the next
    couple of years…

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