Yadier Molina Signs Deal to Play in 2022

Yadier Molina will play next year. He signed a 1 year, $10M deal to spend one more year behind the plate for the Birds on a Bat. He and the Cardinals have portrayed it as a final contract, indicating 2022 will be his swan song as a player.

The only surprise is that he is, in fact, playing next year. He had intimidated after the 2019 season that 2020 would be his last. Then COVID-19 happened, the season was only 60 games, and he chose to play this year on a one year, $9M deal. I figured this was it, but was wrong. As both sides are now saying next year is it, expect one of those farewell tours next year where every other NL team feels the need to salute him before his last game in their stadium.

The 10 time all star, 9 time gold glove recipient will have played more games as a Cardinal than any player not named Stan Musial or Lou Brock. Like them, he will undoubtedly eventually have a bronze plaque hanging in Cooperstown.

4 thoughts on “Yadier Molina Signs Deal to Play in 2022

  1. Why is Molina “undoubtedly” a future HoFer?

    Molina – 18 seasons: WAR: 41.9 2090 hits, 168 HRs .280 BA, .734 OPS, 97 OPS+. 10 All Star games, 9 Gold Gloves, 2 times in top 10 of MVP vote JAWS: 22nd for catchers

    Bill Freehan – 15 seasons: WAR 44.8 1591 hits, 200 HRs .262 BA, .752 OPS, 112 OPS+. 11 All Star games, 5 Gold Gloves, 3 times in top 10 of MVP vote JAWS: 16th for catchers

    Average for HoF catchers: 53.8 career WAR, 34.8 7 year peak WAR, 44.3 JAWS 4.7 WAR/162
    Molina: 41.9 career WAR, 28.7 7 year peak WAR, 35.3 JAWS, 3.2 WAR/162
    Freehan: 44.8 career WAR, 33.7 7 year peak WAR, 39.2 JAWS, 4.1 WAR/162

    Freehan got .5% of the vote on his 1 and only year on the HoF ballot.

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    1. Catcher is an underrepresented position in the HoF. I’ve posted before that I’d vote for Freehan if I had the chance. That’s not my argument for Molina, though.

      Nope, my confidence that Molina will sail right in to the HoF is narrative. The media really seems to love him…and it’s media members that do the voting. Voters who are predisposed to liking him will see the 2000+ games for one team, the Gold Gloves and All Star nods, and put a check by his name on the ballot.

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      1. Congrats – you hit the hot word of the day: Narrative. The whole Flying Molina Brothers thing with 3 brothers all playing the same position, it’s a cute story. The voters also love them some Cardinals. He’s been an excellent defensive catcher but that’s only half the game.

        For what it’s worth, the Freehan issue came up yesterday on a Tigers’ blog I follow and I actually argued against him being a HoFer. https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2021/08/24/watercooler-wednesday-2/

        I was curious about your comment about catchers being underrepresented so I had to look it up. Among real players (sorry DHs, you don’t count) catcher is the 2nd lowest behind 3B. Who would have guessed that among position players it’s a tie between SS & RF for most at a position. I’m guessing Joe Mauer will increase the # of catchers soon.
        https://baseballhall.org/discover-more/stories/hall-of-famer-facts/hall-of-famers-by-position

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        1. Yes, I expect Mauer to have no problem…but would be unsurprised if ultimately Molina gets a higher percentage of the vote even though Mauer was far superior until injury forced out from behind the plate.

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