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How much should the Cardinals offer Yadier Molina?

In yesterday’s post, we looked at some of the factors surrounding the upcoming free agency of St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. In a poll at the conclusion of the article, I gave readers several voting options to specify what they think the Cardinals should do. Over 80 percent are in favor of the club trying to work out a deal into the fall.

The logical follow-on question to those voters is to ask where they would draw the line in terms of dollars and years. That is the purpose of this post.

Here are a few data points to consider.

Molina currently makes $7 million in the fifth and final year of his contract signed with the Cardinals prior to the 2008 season. He will celebrate his 30th birthday in July.

Minnesota’s Joe Mauer has the largest contract in MLB history for a catcher, eight years, $184 million. It started in 2011, his age 28 year, and pays him an even $23 million per season.

Detroit’s Victor Martinez, who recently suffered a season-ending injury, signed a four-year, $50 million free agent deal one year ago. The average annual value (AAV) of his deal, covering his age 32-35 seasons, works out to $12.5 million, just over half of Mauer’s annual take.

A number of front-line catchers could hit the market next fall, including Russell Martin, Miguel Montero and Mike Napoli. Others with 2013 club options include Brian McCann ($12 million) and Carlos Ruiz ($5 million).

Against that backdrop, what are your limits? Please vote and explain below.

What are the most guaranteed years (exclusive of options) the Cardinals should offer Molina?

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What is the highest average annual value contract the Cardinals should offer Molina?

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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25 Responses to “How much should the Cardinals offer Yadier Molina?”

  1. CariocaCardinal says:

    I dont think one can seperate years and AAV like that. would I go 5 years? not my preference but if he would take 5/40 I’d do it.

    My basic starting would be 3/27. Maybe 3/27 + a 4th year option for 9mm as well with a $3 mm buyout – that would be 3/30 gurantee.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Yes, the two are interrelated, but the initial poll would be too complicated unless they are separated for voting. My hope is that people vote for number of years, then assuming that, consider the AAV for those years. If these results are unclear, perhaps we can try a subsequent poll to zero in on the prevailing preference.

    • T8Ball says:

      Yadi in the last 4 years had a accumulated value of 56.3 million dollars, according to Fangraphs, roughly 14million per season. Even if his WAR dips from last seasons 4.1 to 3.0 as several predict he’s still valued over 10 million. Offering him an AAV of 9 million is rather “silly” 😉 . Seriously, it is insulting, I’d walk if I were Yadi at a 9 AAV offer, with or without a 3mm buyout at the end.

      • T8Ball says:

        I looked at Albert’s also, his 4 year trend was rather alarming. 40.9M, 40.4M, 30.0M, 22.8M. Based off that, I can see how the Cards wouldn’t go higher than 10/210-220m.

  2. RCWarrior says:

    I believe Yadi will not sign an extension at this point. Why would he? He will surely get more on the free agent market than he will in St. Louis. He and Albert were such great friends that Yadi surely feels some angst over Albert’s situation.

    The Cardinals offer would be one that surely tried to rely on Yadi wanting to stay in St. Louis…and at this point I don’t believe he wants that.

    So I don’t believe the Cardinals will make him an offer that would even cause him to take a second look. They will make a low ball offer and when all is said and done say that thats all they could offer and remain competitive.

    Same song…second verse.

  3. blingboy says:

    I voted 5 yrs 11-13. That means Arte will have to go 5/75 at least. Probably 6.

    One of the inangibles is how things play out in the clubhouse this year. Getting rid of the iconic boss and the alpha male takes the lid off the barrel of monkeys. No way to predict what is going to happen.

    Of course, winning will make everything right.

  4. T8Ball says:

    4 years, 11-13. Cards will either offer 3 at a higher AAV, 5 @10.

  5. Kansasbirdman says:

    The other question the FO will have to determine is if there is a replacement in the pipeline or do we have to find an FA if Yadi leaves for greener pastures?

    It’s not like the AP situation where we had a replacement (Berkman).

  6. bigchieftootiemontana says:

    Five years at $11Milion average, even if Yadi is a backup the 4th and 5th year he would be worth it to the team, pitching staff and future catcher.

  7. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    The most important property of BD is? Mike Matheny ……….. he will be defended at all costs…. and money is no object…… Molina toxic??????????………they will pay Molina up front…… is the only surefire containment plan………his agent can’t be that stupid to miss this opportunity……….. he will force them to trade the contract if things go south for Yadi on the field………… I see that as a 9/10 possibility……….. 29/1 in favor of Selig’s extension……… what was SD whining about????????? ya think……….

  8. ball in play says:


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