Cardinals' Updated Lineup, Payroll After Yadier Molina's Reported $9M Contract

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IFebruary 9, 2021

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina heads to first on an RBI single during the first inning of Game 2 of the team's National League wild-card baseball series against the San Diego Padres, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Yadier Molina will remain in St. Louis.

The Cardinals announced Monday night that they had agreed to terms with the catcher, who has spent the entirety of his 17-year career with them.

While the team did not announce the terms of the deal, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported the agreement was a one-year contract for $9 million.

Here's a glance at what the Cardinals may be working with in 2021, with a roster projection via FanGraphs and a payroll estimation from Cot's Contracts.


Projected St. Louis Lineup

1. 2B Tommy Edman

2. SS Paul DeJong

3. 1B Paul Goldschmidt

4. 3B Nolan Arenado

5. RF Dylan Carlson

6. C Yadier Molina

7. LF Tyler O'Neill

8. CF Harrison Bader



C Andrew Knizner

INF Matt Carpenter

INF Edmundo Sosa

OF/1B Austin Dean

OF Justin Williams



With Molina reportedly on the books for $9 million, Cot's Contracts has the Cardinals shaping up to spend $161.5 million on the projected Opening Day roster. That payroll is currently the highest in the National League Central.


A Look at Molina

Molina is the centerpiece of the Cardinals franchise, with 2,025 games under his belt with the Cardinals. That statistic alone ranks him in the upper echelons of MLB history, as there are just two players who have appeared in more games for the Cardinals (Stan Musial at 3,026 and Lou Brock with 2,289, according to ESPN).

But the 38-year-old has had his fair share of individual talent to secure his place among baseball's greats. A nine-time All-Star, Molina is the 12th catcher in league history to have at least 2,000 hits, and with 2,001, he ranks fifth among active players.

Along the way, he has led the Cardinals to four National League titles and a pair of World Series championships, with a .281 career batting average, 160 home runs and 932 RBI.

"I think about [the Hall of Fame]," Molina told ESPN in 2020. "When I started my career, I had to overcome a lot of obstacles. ... All I've done is work hard to get better and better every single year to become the best catcher I can be. And my numbers are obviously there. I think that, because of the way I catch, that I'm one of the best catchers to have ever played in baseball."

In 2020, Molina played 42 games with a .262 batting average, four home runs and 16 RBI.