Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Thursday evening that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina were in the process of finalizing a three-year contract extension. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports confirmed that the deal was finalized. Rosenthal later added that the deal would be between $55-65 million.
This comes as no surprise as the two sides were reportedly making “major progress” on a contract extension on Monday. Molina was in the last year of a five-year, $75 million contract that included a mutual option for the 2018 season worth $15 million. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Monday that Molina felt there were “too many catchers making more money.”
Molina, 34, hit a productive .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles and eight home runs with 58 RBI and 56 runs scored over 581 plate appearances last season. Despite his age, Molina’s defense still receives high marks and he remains well-regarded for his ability to call games and handle his pitching staff. This contract will presumably cover the 2018-20 seasons, meaning the seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award-winner will be 38 years old when the contract is expiring.
Three players were suspended on Monday after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. They are: Indians pitcher Steve Delabar, Mariners pitcher Jonathan Aro, and free agent pitcher Jeffry Hernandez. Aro got a 50-game suspension while the other two were handed 80-game suspensions.
Delabar, 33, hasn’t pitched yet this season after signing a minor league deal with the Indians back in January. He spent last year with the Reds as well as the Hiroshima Carp in the Japan Central League. The right-hander has struggled over the last few seasons.
Aro, 26, also hasn’t appeared yet this season in the minors. He’s worked mostly in relief. The right-hander appeared briefly in the majors with the Mariners last season and logged 10 1/3 innings in the show with the Red Sox in 2015. Aro went to the Mariners along with Wade Miley in the trade that brought the Red Sox Carson Smith and Roenis Elias.
Hernandez, 22, is a free agent and his suspension will be effective if and when he signs with a new team.
The Phillies announced on Monday that starter Aaron Nola has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 21, with a lower back strain.
Nola, 23, compiled a 4.50 ERA with a 15/6 K/BB ratio over his first three starts spanning 16 innings. He felt some back soreness during his last start on Thursday against the Mets, and it lingered when he had a side session on Sunday.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury hears that the Phillies are likely to call up Nick Pivetta from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Nola’s place in the rotation. Nola was scheduled to start on Wednesday.
Pivetta, 24, was acquired from the Nationals in the Jonathan Papelbon trade in July 2015. At Triple-A so far, Pivetta has given up only two earned runs on 12 hits and two walks with 24 strikeouts in 19 innings.