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Carlos Beltran, Rafael Furcal and Yadier Molina all make more than the league average at their respective positions. Nevertheless, these guys are worth every penny.
After almost 32 full innings of scoreless baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals' bats have cooled, but they are still among the best in the MLB. The Cards rank fourth in runs, second in batting average and fourth in slugging percentage.
Beltran, Furcal and Molina are three of the reasons they have had that kind of success.
Beltran signed a two-year, $26 million contract this past offseason, putting him almost $8 million above the league's average outfielder, because, well, he's an above-average outfielder. Beltran ranks first in the NL in home runs (15), third in RBI (42) and ninth in slugging percentage (.553).
I wonder what Mets fans wanted more this season: a no-hitter or Beltran's bat back in their lineup?
Rafael Furcal ($6.5 million per year) makes $2.6 million more than his competition and his 2012 stats are proving exactly why. Already, the shortstop has 68 hits (a team high), putting him on pace to reach more than 200 by the end of the season, something he has never done in his 12 years of professional baseball.
Finally, there is Yadier Molina, who extended his contract last March for five more seasons. The $75 million deal will allow him to wear the StL logo through 2017. As much as it is, this could be the best money Mozeliak has ever spent. There aren't many other catchers who can offer what Molina can.
Molina is one of the best all-around catchers in MLB. He is a Gold Glover, a .300 hitter, and most importantly, a second manager on the field. As former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa once said about Molina, "The game has never seen a better catcher."