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Cardinals open up extension talks with Yadier Molina

St. Louis Cardinals, Yadier Molina

The St. Louis Cardinals and Yadier Molina have opened up talks for an extension deal ahead of the upcoming offseason, according to Ken Rosenthal and Katie Woo of The Athletic.

For the moment, the two sides are currently in discussions for a possible one-year, $9 million deal.

Molina hit free agency in the last offseason. Although there was speculation at the time that his run with the Cardinals may have come to an end, he wound up returning on a one-year, $9 million deal. This time around, Rosenthal and Woo add that for now, Molina would at the least like to reach an agreement with the Cardinals for a $9 million average annual value contract.

As mentioned, there were chatters last year over whether Molina would even return to St. Louis for at least one more season. One report noted that his agent wanted to get his client a two-year contract, as the 10-time All-Star aimed to get a deal that would have him playing into his 40s. He settled for a mere one-year deal in the end, but now, he is looking to sign yet another one-year contract for his possible 19th season in St. Louis.

Molina has surpassed expectations with the Cardinals this season. While he does currently hold a lowly 86 wRC+, he was named as an All-Star in the National League this season.

In the big picture, the Cardinals’ depth at the catcher position is not deep to the point where the team could afford to part ways with Molina at the moment. Former coveted Cardinals prospect and current backup catcher Andrew Knizner has had struggles this season with a .177 batting average, while prospect Ivan Herrera is not currently ready for the majors just yet.

Thus, all signs point to the Cardinals bringing back Molina for another season. It would be his 19th season with the team, and more so, it would provide him with a grand opportunity to continue to move up in the all-time defensive games caught as a catcher leaderboard, where he currently ranks fourth with 2,077 such games.