Ben: That Molina was our last hope.
Yoda: No. There … is another:
Every winter, Gustavo Molina and his wife, Carla, seem to have the same conversation. She asks him which team he will play for. He tells her he doesn’t know. She asks why he switches teams every season. He tells her that it’s his job … Molina is not related to the renowned catching Molinas — Bengie, Yadier and Jose — though he sometimes jokes that he is. He does not have their pedigree, either. The last four springs, he has zigzagged across Florida, going from Port St. Lucie (Mets) to Viera (Nationals) to Fort Myers (Red Sox) to Tampa in search of work.
He is still searching.
How many times a year, on average, do you think Gustavo has to tell people that he’s not related to the other Molinas? Man that has to suck.
Good story by Ben Shpigel about what it means to be, like, the 35th guy on a 25-man roster.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.