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

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.