Yadier Molina and St. Louis Cardinals Finalizing 5 Year, $75 Million Dollar Deal

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 29, 2012

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28:  Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after a strike call with the bases loaded in the fifth inning during Game Seven of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals and All-Star catcher Yadier Molina are close to finalizing a contract extension that will pay him $75 million over five years, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Yadier molina and #stlcards are in agreement on extension terms, believed to be $75M for 5 yrs. Shd be finalized soon

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 29, 2012

Molina was going to be a free agent after the 2012 season, but the team made signing him to an extension a top priority this spring. 


What It Means?

Molina will turn 30 in July, so this deal will keep him with the team through his age 35 season. The Cardinals took a chance by signing him to an extension after the best offensive year of his career. He hit .305/.349/.465 with 14 home runs in 2011.

According to Fangraphs, he had the worst defensive year of his career. Even with a slight decline behind the plate, he still threw out a respectable 29 percent of potential basestealers. 

The deal is more expensive than you would think, but considering his excellent track record behind the plate, durability and solid offensive numbers for the position, it's not an outrageous move. 


What Happens Next?

With Molina locked up, the Cardinals can turn their attention to the start of the regular season and defending their championship. 

The two biggest keys to their success this season will be keeping Matt Holliday and Adam Wainwright healthy and productive. 

Great catching is far too valuable to let get away, and the Cardinals are going to ensure their immediate future by keep Molina.