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Cardinals table extension talks with Yadier Molina

Feb 19, 2012, 2:48 PM EDT

yadier  molina ap AP

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is currently scheduled to become a free agent five days after the conclusion of the 2012 World Series. Coming off a career year at the plate and yet another stellar one behind it, he’s likely having big-dollar dreams.

Which is why it’s not all that surprising that contract talks haven’t been very productive up to this point.

Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“We stopped talking about it. For now, I think. For now, we’ve stopped talking (about extension). For now.”

Molina indicated earlier this month that he’s not going to offer the Cards any sort of “hometown” discount, telling the Post-Dispatch‘s Joe Strauss: “It’s business.” But Yadi did suggest to reporters Sunday in spring camp that he’s willing to have in-season negotiations, something his friend Albert Pujols was not open to.

Texas’ Mike Napoli and Arizona’s Miguel Montero are also slated to hit the open market heading into 2013.

  1. okwhitefalcon - Feb 19, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I don’t think there’s anyway in hell the Rangers or D-Backs let Napoli or Montero get to FA.

    The Cards and Molina on the other hand, not so sure.

  2. fearlessleader - Feb 19, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I’m hoping the front office gives him a big, generous contract, and that Yadi and Mozeliak send a joint thank-you card to Albert for freeing up the necessary cash. As a Cardinal fan living in the heart of Angel territory, I can’t be responsible for my actions if Molina follows his buddy to Anaheim.

    • okwhitefalcon - Feb 19, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      Unfortunately I think this will play out very similar to the Pujols negotiations from both sides.

      Molina will be willling to sign early at his price with the Cards willing to resign him at their price with little upward mobility – if any.

      If/when the situation does get to free agency, I don’t think there’s any way a deal gets done.

      • paperlions - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        Every player is willing to sign early at their price…and every team is willing to resign a player early at their price. The Angels overpaid for Pujols by a far greater amount than the entire value of Yadi’s next contract.

        I hope he stays; but it is always better to lose a player a year or 2 early than to keep them for a year or two too long….and overpaying for a player is not the way to build a deep roster.

      • okwhitefalcon - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:57 PM

        I think it depends on the amount of the “overpay” on a pure case by case basis, additional value beyond pure numbers has to be in the equation.

        Considering the Cards lack of organizational depth at the position and a few high end pitching prospects on the way that could benefit from Molina’s presence, overpaying Molina at say 60 million over 5 instead of a perceived “fair market value” of 50 million over 5 may make sense.

        Not going 50-60 million more on AP once he hit FA made sense, I’m not sure going 5-10 million more on Yadi before he hits FA doesn’t – that’s hardly an organization crippling amount.

        He’ll definitely get that and probably more if he hits the open market, why take the chance?

      • paperlions - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:25 PM

        You know how many catchers made more than $7M last year?

        Victor Martinez (who isn’t really a catcher any more)
        Posada (also not really a catcher)

        That’s it. $10M/year is already more than fair market value. I’d be shocked if he was offered more than that on a 4 year deal by anyone.

      • okwhitefalcon - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:56 PM

        Derrick Goold speculated in a chat today the Cards would be comfy with a 4 year deal with a 5th year option – he was unsure about $$$. Personally speaking, I can see a wild card owner going 5/6 if he gets to FA, it only takes 1 as we’ve seen in the past.

        I don’t think there’s really any good available comps for Molina right now beyond Napoli and Montero, the first one who signs sets the market for the most part moving forward.

        Molina’s case is interesting, he’s an unquestioned leader who could provide additional organizational value later in the contract – a bridge of stability as the roster churns.

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:25 AM

      As a Cardinal fan living in the heart of Angel territory, I can’t be responsible for my actions if Molina follows his buddy to Anaheim

      The Phrase you’re looking for is “Violently Unstable”.

  3. spudchukar - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    As I have opined previously, Molina will be an Angel next year unless the Cards are willing to pony up about 65 mil for 6 years for the 29-year old, last three year Gold Glove winner, and MLB catcher with the second highest OPS+ in MLB in 2011.

    The current ownership/management, and their corporate approach to player procurement, insures that no Card will be a “Cardinal for Life”, which may insure that the organization maintains a pipeline of talent and good teams, that takes unlikely wildcard runs that secured the 2006 and 2011 WS crowns, rather than spending the supportive fans’ dollars at a level that matches their attendance rankings, which would guarantee a yearly championship contending team and show loyalty to the star players that matches the fans undying fealty. (Some sentence, huh?)

    • Old Gator - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      You’re learnin’.

    • paperlions - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      Spud, do you remember the days after Auggie Bush died and his son created a board to make baseball decisions? That was a corporate approach. Not being willing to overpay a player by $100M is not a bad thing. Name one Cardinal that left for a reasonable deal that the Cardinals should have kept around.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        Have you guys ever heard of Branch Rickey? He invented this.

    • fearlessleader - Feb 19, 2012 at 5:07 PM

      Spudchukar, I understand your pessimism, but it seems to me that you’re taking the Pujols example and extrapolating it to an entire organizational philosophy.

      • okwhitefalcon - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:07 PM

        I’m not quite sure the organization has any set philosophy at this point, which isn’t a bad thing really.

        They’ve got to be able to change with market at some points, set the market at others and not let it get to the market in some situations.

        They’ve proved they can adapt on the fly with the signing of Beltran and resigning of Furcal, Berkman and Carpenter – I don’t think any Cards fan doesn’t see value in each of those. Maybe a couple of overpays with Furcal and Beltran but smart overpays on a short term in my opinion.

        Moving swiftly and decisively makes sense sometimes, especially with core players that aren’t afraid to play out the string and roll the performance dice with FA on the horizon.

        Moving swiftly and decisively with fringe players on the other hand, well…

        As for Yadi, unless he’s just asking for something totally out of the realm of sanity (insert numbers here) – get it done and put to bed.

        The sooner the better.

  4. okwhitefalcon - Feb 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Much more from Cards Fox Sports Midwest writer BJ Rains here on the subject, more from both Molina and Mozeliak on the subject with this telling quote from Yadi included:

    “The catcher said he would be open to re-engaging in contract talks if the Cardinals approached him. But one thing he likely won’t do is take a hometown discount to stay in St. Louis if he feels he can make more money elsewhere.

    “I don’t know about that,” Molina said. “Like I always say, I like the town and I like the city, but at the same time, I have to think about my family. You have to worry about your family like they worry about the team. This is business. If I get good money, I’ll take it. If not, I’ll go away.”

    • umrguy42 - Feb 19, 2012 at 11:31 PM

      While I don’t know if what he’s made so far isn’t really enough to take care of his family quite comfortably, I at least appreciate his honesty – it’s about money for him.

  5. brockohol - Feb 19, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    I hope god doesn’t tell him to go to anaheim like he did to pujols

  6. Chris K - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    For now?

  7. jrspike - Feb 19, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    He is going to the Angels period.

    • baseballisboring - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:13 PM

      Yeah, or he might stay with the Cardinals. Or sign with with the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies, Tigers, Marlins, who else…I dunno, anyone with a little money to spend who has a use for a top shelf catcher?

  8. cardsfanindelaware - Feb 20, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Molina said. “Like I always say, I like the town and I like the city, but at the same time, I have to think about my family. You have to worry about your family like they worry about the team. This is business. If I get good money, I’ll take it. If not, I’ll go away.”

    …”if I get good money”… – which he will be offered by the Cardinal’s front office.

    …”if not, I’ll go away”… – which is what he will most likely do because he knows that the grass is greener in Anaheim.

    I believe Yadi won’t talk contract once the season starts for he will say it is a distraction to him (even tho he said he would talk).

    I believe Yadi will be offered a decent contract during S.T. which will show his true colors. I hate to think the worst but Yadi has shown his self in the past already. I am not talking about the Winter Warm-Ups or even the White House trip (2 examples of not getting paid to do something). 2 years ago he was paid $90,660 to attend an autograph event. Steiner Sports Marketing sued him for being a no-show. Even if the event was 8 grueling hours long, $10K + an hour is no joke.

  9. stex52 - Feb 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    The drift of this is that he will not sign before late in the process next year. I read enough from you guys to see that he is hanging on top dollar. I don’t think he has the star power to get that huge up front deal, so he and StL will probably dance to close to the deadline; especially with two other good catchers hitting the free agency. My guess is the Cardinals will be well-advised to be considering options at catcher.

    I think I detect just a hint of a chip on his shoulder from the interview. But, what the heck, that should mean he is really trying to look good in 2012.

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