Washington Nationals: Three options behind the plate

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: The Washington Nationals logo on the scoreboard after a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on September 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: The Washington Nationals logo on the scoreboard after a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on September 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Yadier Molina

While this year’s free-agent class of catchers is thinning, if you’re looking for defensive help behind the plate, there’s no one better than Yadier Molina.

Yes, Molina is 38-years-old, but still considered one of the best defensive catchers in the game. In fact, it’s ok to call him one of the greatest defensive catchers of all-time.

From 2008-2015 Molina won eight-consecutive National League Gold Glove Awards. He won the award again in 2018 and owns four NL Platinum Glove Awards, given to the best defensive player of any position. Add in nine All-Star Game appearances and two World Series titles, Molina’s 17 years with the St. Louis Cardinals has been Hall of Fame worthy.

Talking about Molina’s defensive prowess is fun, so let’s get into some more stats. The 38-year-old has led the NL in fielding percentage four times, caught stealing percentage four times, putouts three times, and assists three times. He also owns a defensive WAR of 25.4, which ranks 18th all-time among MLB players of all positions. Gary Carter, Bob Boone, and Ivan Rodriguez are the only catchers ranking above him on this list.

Molina clearly fits the bill of the defensive catcher the Washington Nationals are looking for. The only issue is prying him away from a 17-year career with the Cardinals. According to recent comments from his older brother, former MLB catcher Bengie Molina, there have been six or seven teams expressing interest in signing the 38-year-old.

The market is ripe for Molina, but it’s very difficult to argue against a 17-year history with one franchise. Anything can happen though, right?