Cardinals exercise Molina’s option
As we first heard yesterday the Cardinals exercised the option of longtime Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. The option, worth seven million dollars, was exercised today as the Cardinals also announced the retirement of Manager Tony La Russa. This move was expected as Yadier Molina is not only a great defender and a great hitter but also a team leader. I am more concerned about the long term plans for Molina, and hopefully GM John Mozeliak will be able to work out an extension to keep Molina a Cardinal for a reasonable price. With today’s great news that Molina is back, I wanted to take a quick glance at the great career of the Cardinals one-of-a-kind catcher, Yadier Molina:
Yadier Molina was drafted by the Cardinals in the fourth round of the 2000 draft at the young age of 17. Molina made his debut when he was 22 years old in 2004 as the backup catcher to Mike Matheney. Matheney helped tutor Molina to become one of the greatest defenders of the game to match his already great arm. Molina became the youngest catcher to catch in the World Series, when the Cardinals reached the postseason in 2004.
In 2006, Molina really became a fan favorite when he became a post season hero. It was Game 7 of the NLCS, the Cardinals were tied and needed a boost in late innings to take a lead, Yadi did just that hitting the most clutch homerun of his career, sending the Cardinals to the World Series, where they would beat the Detroit Tigers in 5 games. Molina, became the third of his brothers Bengie and Jose to win a World Series which marked the first time that three brothers would go on to win a World Series.
Molina went on to become a true hitter after the ’06 season and showed that his bat could match his glove. He has batted over .300 twice, and, though he is not much of a home run hitter, Molina set a career high in home runs in 2011, with 14. Molina has also established a career high in hits with 145, as well as RBI’s (65) and doubles (32) . He also led the team in average in 2011 with a career high .305 batting average.
Though, his bat is not what he is known for; it is the glove and the arm that paved Molina’s way to the big leagues. Molina is a three time Gold Glover behind the plate, and has also been an All Star catcher three years in a row. Molina has also won the Fielding Bible award for catchers from 2007-2010. Molina has been a three time NL Champion and two time World Series Champion in his eight seasons as a Cardinal. Hopefully, we can see much more success in Yadi’s career, and hopefully he will retire as a Cardinal!