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St. Louis Cardinals reportedly discussing contract extension with Yadier Molina

St. Louis Cardinals, Yadier Molina
Aug 13, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) doubles in a run during the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals have benefited from having Yadier Molina behind the plate for nearly two decades. Now, the future Hall of Fame catcher could be closing in on a contract to stay with the franchise past the 2021 season.

Molina re-signed with St. Louis this offseason, agreeing to a $9 million deal to remain the starting catcher. While the Cardinals haven’t played up to preseason expectations, the 39-year-old keeps defying Father Time by manning one of the most tasking positions in MLB.

With only a few months left in the 2021 season, it seems Molina is more than willing to keep playing catcher beyond this year.

According to The Athletic’s Katie Woo and Ken Rosenthal, the Cardinals are discussing a one-year contract extension with Molina. While negotiations are ongoing, the iconic catcher is seeking a deal worth at least $9 million next season.

Offensively, Molina has taken a step back with the bat. He holds a .256/.303/.378 slash line through 91 games, tacking on 49 RBIs. He hit eight home runs and drove in 26 runs through March, but only has a .290 OBP with one home run since June 1.

While Molina is no longer dependable in the batter’s box, he remains one of the most trusted catchers behind the dish. He ranks fourth in FanGraphs’ Defensive Runs Saved (five) and he is integral to the success of the Cardinals’ pitchers.

With Molina’s return for the 2022 season looking more likely, it’s another sign that Adam Wainwright could also re-sign with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Turning 40 on August 30, Wainwright previously said he is still unsure if he will retire after the season. If Molina returns and the Cardinals’ roster is stronger, it would be a surprise not to see him on the mound next year.