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Yadier Molina plans to retire when his contract ends

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Last April, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina signed a three-year, $60 million contract extension. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Molina plans to hang up his spikes when that contract ends after the 2020 season. “Three more years, that’s it,” Molina said.

Molina, 35, set a career-high in RBI last season with 82 and also stole nine bases, but otherwise had a mediocre season by his standards. He hit .273/.312/.439 with 18 home runs in 543 plate appearances.

Molina has been with the Cardinals for the duration of his 14-year major league career after the Cardinals selected him in the fourth round of the 2000 draft. He transformed himself from a light-hitting backstop into an offensive threat, helping the Cardinals reach the playoffs nine times and win the World Series twice in 2006 and 2011.

Astros assistant GM Mike Elias reported to be next Orioles general manager

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Astros assistant GM Mike Elias will be the new general manager of the Orioles “barring a change of heart.”

Elias, 35, has been the Astros’ assistant general manager since August 2016. He had previously served as Houston’s scouting director and, before that, as a scout for the Cardinals. He was part of the team that came over from the Cardinals when Jeff Luhnow joined the Astros.

If he does take the O’s job his work will certainly be cut out for him. Baltimore was historically bad in 2018, finishing 47-115 thanks to a roster full of expensive, past-their-prime players and an underdeveloped farm system. He’ll have to hit the ground running too, as he’ll not join the team until nearly two months into the club’s offseason, having had no time to assess its needs and personnel. Oh, and the Winter Meetings begin in a little over three weeks.