Molina agrees to 3-year extension with the Cardinals -

Molina agrees to 3-year extension with the Cardinals

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(AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -

It's official: Yadier Molina is a St. Louis Cardinal for the next three years. 

The Cardinals catcher was set to become a free agent after the 2017 season. Now, he signed with the team through 2020. 

Reports came out Sunday morning confirming the Cardinals catcher has reached an agreement with the team. The news comes less than 12 hours before the Cardinals have their Opening Night game against the Chicago Cubs. 

The Cardinals officially announced the extension at a press conference on Sunday afternoon. 

"This is a dream come true," Molina said during the press conference. "I always want to be here." 

Molina said it was a hard week, going back and forth with his feelings. But he said he is glad the deal is done, and he is happy to be here. 

Molina was drafted by the Cardinals in 2000, and made his debut in 2004. 

"Yadi's contributions since his major league debut in 2004 have been historic," Cardinals Chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr said. "He set the standard for defensive excellence during this generation."

It was in the 2004 season that Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, then the starting catcher, saw the rise of Molina. 

"When I went on the (disabled list), I realized I opened the door and it probably wouldn't shut," Matheny said. 

When speaking on Molina and what words come to mind, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak offered up leader, mentor, longevity, consistent, and performer. 

"All these qualities not only represent his career, but also represent his future," Mozeliak said. 

KMOV reported the team and Molina were close to a finalizing a contract extension as Spring Training was winding down. At that time, News 4 learned the monetary value was expected to be between $55 million and $65 million. 

According to the Associated Press, Molina's previous deal called for a $14 million salary this year and a $15 million mutual option for 2018 with a $2 million buyout. 

"There's been a lot has written about this being a legacy contract. To me, this is much more than what he's done," Mozeliak said. "What it means to me is what he's going to do." 

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