ST. LOUIS, Mo- Less than a day after the end of the World Series, Major League Baseball released the list of free agents, and it includes some expected and familiar names, including one for the first time in his career. Longtime Cardinals Catcher Yadier Molina headlines a list of St. Louis names, including pitcher Adam Wainwright, utilityman Brad Miller, and backup catcher Matt Wieters. What makes Molina’s name significant is that this is his first time hitting the open market.
Molina just finished playing through a three-year $60 million deal. He has indicated interest in playing at least two more seasons. What is unclear is how the terms of a contract would shake out, given the financial landscape in baseball after a season with no fans in the stands during a shortened regular season due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with the fact that Molina, even at age 38, shows no signs of easing up on wanting to play every day.
The Cardinals have already traded one heir apparent, Carson Kelly, and have another in Andrew Knizner, who has played sparingly in parts of two seasons in St. Louis.
Under MLB’s collective bargaining agreement, by becoming a free agent, Molina can consider offers from other teams, but also accept a contract from the Cardinals that is more than 20 percent less than his previous contract.