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.