Yadier Molina has arguably been the Most Valuable Player in the National League this season, but the leader of the St. Louis Cardinals’ clubhouse appears to be heading for the disabled list thanks to a knee injury. The team appears concerned enough that he could miss a significant amount of time, lending Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports to suggest that the Cardinals could be looking for help behind the plate.
Molina’s been dealing with pain in his knee all season, causing the team to carry three catchers on their active roster for much of the year. He’d played in the majority of the team’s games on the year, leading to speculation that he’d simply been overused. He left Thursday night’s game early because of that discomfort and met with team physicians this morning for an MRI exam after the pain failed to subside with a few days of rest.
He’s hit .330/.374/.479 in 390 PA on the year, with 8 HR and 30 2B.
Goold names a handful of options that have been rumored to be available on the trade market – including Philadelphia’s Carlos Ruiz, Chicago’s Dioner Navarro, Washington’s Kurt Suzuki, and free agent Miguel Olivo. None of the four are under team control beyond the end of the season. They could also look at New York’s John Buck.
Ruiz and Suzuki might be the too most appealing options from a talent standpoint, but it’s unclear what they might cost to acquire. Ruiz hit a combined .303/.388/.454 over the past three seasons and found himself regularly among the top hitters in the National League but he’s slumped badly in 2013. In 169 PA on the year he’s hit .253/.299/.299 with just one home run, dealing with some injury concerns that have kept him out of the lineup. Suzuki’s salary this season is being covered by the Oakland A’s, as part of Washington’s deal last summer to acquire him, and he’s lost playing time with the Nationals with Wilson Ramos returning from the DL – perhaps suggesting that he’d be available at a reasonable cost. He’s batting just .222/.281/.317 in 255 PA.