Yadier Molina
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Yadier Molina wants to play two more years, perhaps not with Cardinals

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Per ESPN’s Marly Rivera, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina wants to play two more seasons and is willing to sign with another team if he and the Cardinals can’t agree on a contract extension. Molina said, “I previously said that if it wasn’t with St. Louis, that I would go home. If we were unable to come to an extension agreement, that I would retire. But the situation with this pandemic has changed everything. Right now, I’m thinking of playing tow more years.”

Molina added, “Obviously, St. Louis is my first option. But if they don’t sign me, then I’m willing to go into free agency. This situation has changed my mentality, and all I want to do is play.”

Back in mid-March, just before spring training was shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Cardinals and Molina were reportedly discussing an extension. It doesn’t seem as if there have been any ongoing talks since then.

Last year, in his age-36 season, Molina hit .270/.312/.399 with 10 home runs and 57 RBI over 452 plate appearances. He threw out just 27 percent of attempted base-stealers, one percent above the league average but 13 percent below his career average. It’s clear Molina’s skills are on the decline. The Cardinals may not want to pay a premium for the final two years of his career with prospect Andrew Knizner waiting in the wings.

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.