Yadier Molina
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Report: Cardinals working on contract extension with Yadier Molina


The Athletic’s Mark Saxon reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina have been working on a contract extension that would keep the veteran in St. Louis through 2021 and likely through the ’22 season. Molina expressed interest in an extension back in November and may yet get his wish.

Molina, 37, is in the final year of his three-year, $60 million contract that pays him $20 million annually. He will once again be the starting catcher for the Cardinals, backed up by Matt Wieters. It is still unclear how the Cardinals plan to utilize prospect Andrew Knizner, whether adding him to the roster as a third catcher or having him start the season at Triple-A Memphis.

Last season, Molina hit a light .270/.312/.399 with 10 home runs and 57 RBI in 452 plate appearances while playing typically great defense behind the plate. He’s clearly not the catcher he once was, but he can still hold his own as a regular and can greatly benefit the Cardinals by helping to mentor Knizner.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.