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.
The Buffalo Blue Jays? Is that a thing? Maybe.
The Toronto Blue Jays are, officially, set to begin their season at Rogers Centre in Toronto on July 29. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, however, reports that they are looking at alternatives:
Multiple sources confirm to The Buffalo News that the Bisons’ parent club has finally reached out to Rich Baseball Operations in the last couple of days to examine the possibility of Toronto’s home schedule being played in Buffalo this summer.
This report of a potential for the Buffalo Blue Jays to make their debut comes a couple of days after the strict restrictions on movement for Jays players — they are reportedly required to stick to the Rogers Centre and the connecting hotel or face harsh punishment — met with at least some backlash. The restrictions are inevitable, however, given that Canada is requiring a 14-day quarantine for people traveling into the country. Since the Jays will be playing all road games in the United States, there is little choice for them but to be restricted to their hotel and the ballpark after arriving back in the country after playing games in the states.
As Harrington notes, Buffalo is not an ideal option given the less-than-major-league-level lighting and clubhouse space present in the Triple-A park, so it would not be ideal. Like everyone else these days, however, the Buffalo Blue Jays — er, I’m sorry, the Toronto Blue Jays — have little choice but to scramble.