Cardinals sign Molina to five-year contract

Print
Email
|

AP/KMOV.com

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 18 at 9:47 AM

(BaseballStL) -- General Manager John Mozeliak praised Molina on staying and not trying free agency.

Molina thanked God first, his family, who was in the crowd, and his agent Melvin Roman.

According to Mozeliak, the negotiations started to gain momentum about two weeks ago, and around ten days ago Mozeliak said he and Roman met and knew a deal could done.

Mozeliak said there was no added pressure to get the deal done before the season began, but he's glad it did get finalized.

Molina said he's happy. He loves the community, the city, the fans, and the organization; he wanted to stay in St. Louis all along.

 ---

JUPITER, Fla. (AP/KMOV.com) -- The St. Louis Cardinals have scheduled a Thursday afternoon news conference to announce they've signed four-time Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina to a five-year contract.

The 29-year-old Molina is a lifetime Cardinal entering the final year of his contract. A source close to Molina's camp told News 4's Jeff Abeln that the five-year deal is worth $75 million.

Yadi is considered one of the best defensively at any position, winning a platinum glove last season in voting by fans, and also is coming off the best offensive season of his career.

Molina batted .305 in 2011 with 14 home runs and 65 RBIs, and added 12 RBIs during the team's World Series title run. He's been durable, too, averaging 138 games the last three seasons.

New manager Mike Matheny was a three-time Gold Glove catcher for St. Louis from 2000-04, leaving for free agency in 2005 after losing his job to Molina. He said Molina came to camp motivated and has set the tone for younger players.

"I don't think you can have any expectations higher than he has for himself," Matheny said earlier in camp. "I can honestly say I've watched him quite a few years and I don't think I've seen him work as hard ... I think certain players have the ability to push themselves beyond contracts, beyond recognition."

The Cardinals had been saying since the start of spring training that they were hopeful of reaching a deal. Molina came to camp with a stance hardened by close friend Albert Pujols' departure for a free agent deal with the Angels, and said the team would not get a hometown discount.

Earlier in camp, Molina said Pujols was like a big brother to him, and that the failed negotiations in St. Louis definitely affected him. But he also has emphasized he's happy in St. Louis, and that his absence from the team's Winter Warmup fan festival and the team's White House appearance were simply because he had other commitments.

The Cardinals had offered Pujols more than $200 million over 10 seasons, and have used those funds and more to build a contender without the three-time NL MVP. Outfielder Carlos Beltran signed a two-year, $26 million free agent deal and shortstop Rafael Furcal re-signed, getting a two-year, $12 million contract.

St. Louis has payroll flexibility going forward, with contracts totaling more than $30 million for first baseman Lance Berkman and pitchers Kyle Lohse and Jake Westrbrook due to expire.

Molina was a fourth-round draft pick of the Cardinals in 2000, and is the youngest and most talented of three brothers to catch in the major leagues.  His arm has been particularly deadly on pickoff picks at first base with Pujols, but he'll need to develop teamwork with Berkman this season.

 

 

Print
Email
|