Yadier Molina Agrees to his 18th Season with the St. Louis Cardinals

photo: Yadier Molina (Jeff Curry/Imagn)

After Again Wainwright agreed to return for another season with the St. Louis Cardinals and the team acquired Nolan Arenado in trade, the club added what may have been its last major piece for 2021 when Wainwright’s long-term battery made Yadier Molina came to terms on Monday.

The free agent catcher is returning on a one-year contract for $9 million. While confirmed by the team above, numerous rumors indicated the two sides had been closing in on the agreement during the day Monday. The first confirmation that the deal was done, as well as the salary amount shortly after, came from national reporter Jon Heyman on Monday evening.

Coming off a three-year, $60 million contract, Molina entertained offers from other teams as a free agent, and even played in winter ball back home in Puerto Rico, but the longer the off-season continued, the more likely his re-signing with St. Louis became.

Yadier Molina

Molina will return as St. Louis’ starter behind the plate, with his primary back up expected to be Andrew Knizner. 2020 primary reserve Matt Wieters departed as a free agent. Last season, Molina slashed .262/.303/.359/.662 in 156 plate appearances and threw out an impressive 45% of prospective base stealers.

2021 will be the 38-year old’s 18th year in the major leagues, all with the Cardinals. Among Molina’s accomplishments are two World Series rings, nine All-Star Game selections, nine Gold Glove Awards and four Platinum Gloves. Five years post-retirement, Molina is sure to don a red jacket as a member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and his Cooperstown odds appear to be high.

Molina’s return brings St. Louis’ 40-man roster back up to 37 players after Friday’s trade of Dexter Fowler to the Angels.


As disclosed on Tuesday, the new contract also includes incentives, likely appearance-based.

For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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