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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.

Masahiro Tanaka released from hospital after taking line drive to head

Masahiro Tanaka line drive
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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka was hit in the head by a Giancarlo Stanton line drive during a simulated game on Saturday afternoon. He remained on the ground for a while before exiting the field with the help of trainers. He went to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and was released in the evening.

Per James Wagner of The New York Times, Tanaka entered the hospital with concussion-like symptoms but they went away. Tanaka underwent a series of tests, including a CT scan, and checked out fine. The right-hander will still likely undergo MLB’s concussion protocol.

Tanaka, 31, will pitch out of the middle of the Yankees’ rotation behind Gerrit Cole and James Paxton during this shortened 60-game season. Tanaka had an up-and-down 2019 campaign, finishing with a 4.45 ERA, 149 strikeouts, and 40 walks over 182 innings of work. He is entering the final year of his seven-year, $155 million contract, so he may enter free agency after the season.