Yadier Molina wants a contract extension

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In April of 2017, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina signed a three-year, $60 million contract extension that covered the 2018-2020 seasons. At the time Molina said that he plans to hang up his spikes when that contract ends “Three more years, that’s it,” Molina said at the time.

Next season is the third year, but Molina is changing his mind about the “that’s it” sentiment: Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat reports that Molina “may be seeking an extension to his contract.”

It’s certainly his right to want to continue his career. Whether the Cardinals would be willing to go beyond 2020 with him is another story, but as Jones reports, Molina “would likely be willing to accept a pay cut from his current $20 million-per-year salary in order to complete such a deal,” so there is obviously a lot of room for creativity.

Molina, who will likely be a Hall of Famer one day, has played for the Cards for his entire 16-year career. He was not his typical self at the plate in 2019, but he continues to be a team leader and the defensive asset he’s always been.

Still, he does turn 38 next year and there are a lot of miles on the odometer. The Cardinals would no doubt love to keep the face of the franchise in the fold for as long as possible, but it’s an open question how long they’d be willing to commit and whether they’d be willing to guarantee any more than the $20 million left on his current deal, regardless of how many years they can agree to.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.