Yadier Molina and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a one year deal for the 2021 season, reuniting for their 18th season together.
Yadier Molina and the St. Louis Cardinals have been together since 2004. But heading into this off-season, Cardinals fans began to worry that Molina would be wearing a different uniform for the first time in his career in 2021.
Luckily for those fans, that won’t be happening.
Molina is squarely in the twilight years of his career. Heading into his age 38 season, his all-star caliber years are well in the rearview.
But what he lacks with the bat in his later years, he makes up for with exceptional defense and consistency. Molina has played at least 100 games in every year of his career except his rookie year and last year’s shortened season. He’s a veteran presence in the locker room with nearly two decades of experience.
And at the end of the day, it just wouldn’t feel right for Yadier Molina to not be a St. Louis Cardinal. He’s been the face of the organization for 17 years. To see him play for a different team in 2021 would be absolutely gut-wrenching.
There are certain players in the league who only belong in one uniform. The Joey Votto’s and Clayton Kershaw’s of the baseball world. Molina is one of those players.
Unfortunately, from a production standpoint, Cardinals fans shouldn’t expect much beyond the solid defense and a consistent lineup presence. His offense is essentially gone. In 2019 he posted an OPS+ of just 87. And in 2020 his OPS+ was just 81. There’s almost no chance that Molina will be a league average hitter in 2021.
But it’s not like the St. Louis Cardinals have any other options at catcher so the face of the franchise will have to do.