Yadier Molina was not too fond of the St. Louis Cardinals’ latest contract offer. Here are three teams that would be solid landing spots for the veteran catcher.
It’s hard to envision catcher Yadier Molina playing for a team other than the St. Louis Cardinals, but this is where we’ve been at the past 24 hours. Since being drafted by the Cardinals in the fourth round of the 2000 MLB Draft, Molina has never worn another uniform since his debut in 2004. But now, things are getting testy between both parties.
On Wednesday evening, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reported that Molina balked at the Cardinals’ “ridiculous” contract offer. Saxon also noted that Molina prefers to sign a two-year contract or a one-year deal, worth $10 million with a 2022 option.
The catching market this year is rather weak behind the likes of J.T. Realmuto and James McCann, but Molina could be the third-best option on the market. Sure, he’s nowhere near the player that he once was, but he can be a quality bat at the plate while also taking on a mentor role in the clubhouse.
Here are three teams that should attempt to sign Molina.
Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels were one of the five teams Molina mentioned that expressed interest in signing him. It’s no secret that the Angels are trying to at least compete for the AL West alongside the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros. So seeing the organization look into the nine-time All-Star shouldn’t be too surprising.
When looking at the Angels’ current depth chart, Max Stassi is listed as the starter, followed by Anthony Bemboom and Taylor Ward. Stassi is coming off a strong 2020 campaign, where he hit .278/.352/.533 with seven home runs and 20 RBI. Can he put up similar numbers in a full 162-game season? That remains to be seen.
Angels ownership has made it abundantly clear that they want to bring face of the franchise Mike Trout to the postseason. Hence why general manager Billy Eppler was fired at the conclusion of the 2020 season and replaced by former Atlanta Braves assistant general manager Perry Minasian. The priority should be fixing their starting pitcher woes, but Molina can help with that, considering he can call the game behind the plate.
The Angels could be an enticing landing spot for Molina. He can reunite with former Cardinals teammate Albert Pujols and his older brother Jose, who’s the catching coach under manager Joe Maddon. Plus, he’d be a solid contingency plan if the Angels can’t pry away McCann from the money of New York Mets owner Steve Cohen.