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Yadier Molina and Cardinals moving closer to extension

Feb 24, 2012, 4:16 PM EDT

Yadier Molina

Yesterday the Cardinals were said to have “re-engaged” in contract talks with Yadier Molina after negotiations were previously tabled and now Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the two sides could be nearing a deal.

According to Strauss “movement on Molina is significant enough that source familiar with the situation believes agreement could be reached within a week.”

Last night our own Matthew Pouliot crunched some numbers on recent catcher contracts and speculated that $44 million over four years could be a reasonable fit. That may not seem like a mega-contract, but it would actually be one of the five largest deals ever for a catcher.

Molina is heading into the final season of a five-year, $21.75 million deal and coming off a career-year at age 28.

  1. baccards - Feb 24, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    If I had to choose between Pujols @ $240M/10yrs and Molina @ $50M/4yrs then Yadi would be the one. No offense meant to Albert, but, damn, Yadi just brings more to the table.

    • rooney24 - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:38 PM

      If you are implying that Yadi would be a better deal for the money, I could possibly agree. If you just flat out say that Yadi brings more to the table, I would disagree greatly. Yadi is a great defensive catcher and a capable hitter. But, Pujols is a decent fielder and would blow Yadi away for hitting, OBP, power, base running, and less likely to start a brawl with the opposing team.

    • paperlions - Feb 25, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      There is no question that 4 or 5 years of Molina for around $50M is far more bang for your buck than 10 years of Pujols for $254M. Molina will likely have at least 2 years in the next 4 where he is worth $10M+; Pujols will be lucky to have 2 years in the next 10 where he is worth $25M.

      ….but, Pujols still brings more to the table at this point in his career.

  2. westcoastredbird - Feb 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    He’s the best catcher in baseball. Pay him the money and end the drama. We don’t need another off season this year like we had with “dinero gigante” last year.

  3. spudchukar - Feb 25, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Molina is only 29. His much less toned brothers have played successfully into their late 30’s. No reason to believe Yadi will not be productive until at least 35. He has no peer defensively, plays a remarkable number of games, and his 126 OBP+ was second for all catchers in 2011.

    Both he and Freese have improved their power numbers under McGwire’s tutelage. Look for Yadi to crack the 20 HR mark in 2012. $65 mil for 6 years might get it done, but after learning the Cards only offered Oswalt $3 mil initially, I am leery. Perhaps the management feels pressure after the loss of Pujos to retain a fan favorite. Believing one can replace Pujols, a player who only comes around every generation is foolhardy, but there are a lot more First Basemen who can hit, then catchers who can do what Yadi does.

    • paperlions - Feb 25, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      No, Pujols isn’t replaceable…but the irreplaceable version of Pujols looks like he’s already gone….the version from last year, that guy is replaceable.

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