Yadier Molina likely out for the season with right knee injury

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Yadier Molina left the Cardinals and flew to St. Louis yesterday to undergo an MRI exam on his sore right knee, and Matthew Leach of MLB.com reports that “Molina has likely played his last game of 2010.”
According to general manager John Mozeliak the MRI revealed “no structural damage” but enough inflammation was found that the Cardinals don’t think it’s worth having him play again. “Another way to think about it is, if we were playing two weeks from now, he could be ready,” Mozeliak told Leach.
Molina’s usual backup, Jason LaRue, was forced into retirement due to the concussion suffered when Johnny Cueto kicked him in the head, so rookies Matt Pagnozzi and Bryan Anderson figure to split time behind the plate for the final 11 games.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

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Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.