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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Finalizing the fans’ contract offer to Yadier Molina

Last week, we ran a poll to consider the wide variety of salary options the St. Louis Cardinals might have in offering an extension to catcher Yadier Molina, who is on the path toward becoming a free agent for the first time following the 2012 season.

To keep that survey manageable, the dollar amounts and years were split into separate questions. That made it difficult to bring the two together into one clear conclusion, so that is the purpose of this post.

Almost 70 percent of the earlier voters selected either a four- or five-year deal. Over 60 percent of those voting would offer Molina a contract with an average annual value (AAV) somewhere between $9 million and $13 million per year.

Assuming we round to the nearest million, that creates a possible ten answers. From them, you can choose your definitive best offer to the catcher for his four or five seasons starting in 2013 at age 30-31.

What are the most guaranteed years (exclusive of options) and highest AAV 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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17 Responses to “Finalizing the fans’ contract offer to Yadier Molina”

  1. RCWarrior says:

    Yea its time to pay Yadi………He has been a tremendous bargain thus far for the Cardinals. I believe he will stay for 4 more years at 13 million a year. 5 may be too long. Maybe 4 with an option for a 5th if he meets a certain numbers of games played.

    • friendmouse says:

      I agree with you, RC, except I went “all in” with the 5 years and $13MM per. Heck, some posters herein will say it won’t matter, because he’s headed to Anaheim. So, if that’s the case, make it as expensive for them as possible and see if Yadi, unlike Albert, has a since of loyalty which outweighs desire for more fame and fortune elsewhere. Yet, I think Yadi stays. He and Matheny will bond well.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    We have lost Ryan Theriot to the Giants. Gonna miss him, much like I miss scrappy Aaron Miles.

  3. T8Ball says:

    If it weren’t for Skip and Riot the DLS might have been different. Same thing can be said for Carpenter in game 5, but those two had a mighty terrific series against some tough pitching.

  4. T8Ball says:

    Looking at the voting with 116 votes cast so far, one could conclude that Cardinal Nation is divided.

    I went 4,13, 52. The AAV is more than earned, and his value is more than hitting and defense.

    Friend, I have to admit, it’s in the back of my mind, heart, etc., that it ultimately will not matter. Right now that doesn’t outweigh that I think he’ll re-up with the Cards.

    So, here’s to “hoping he extends with the Cards, but with a more grounded understanding if he doesn’t”

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Grounded understanding is a nice phrase.

      After 2012, Yadier will have earned about $24MM as a ML player. This is a ridiculously generous amount of money.

      But free agency can magnify this wealth much more. His next deal may double what he has earned already! This helps illustrate why players take the money and move to another uniform. The stakes for a star (and his agent and dependents) are high, incredible celebrity wealth. Only a very few, talented and lucky ballplayers, are fortunate to reach this.

  5. Nutlaw says:

    Lots of Oswalt noise lately. I’d hope that the Cards could find a way to move Westbrook in that situation.

  6. blingboy says:

    The MLBTR guy editorializes: “Westbrook didn’t have much value aside from eating innings”.

    I’m confused I guess. What exactly is a #5 starter supposed to do besides win 12 games. Whether some of them were ugly or not.

    Most likely, between our five and Oswalt, we’d be fortunate to have 5 of them healthy at any one time., and it is far from a sure thing that Oswalt would pitch 180 innings and win 12 games.

    If a AAA guy proves ready during ST, then maybe move somebody.

    Of course, if the org has reason to think Jake is done, thats another matter.

    • Nutlaw says:

      A guy making $8M/year needs to be a decidedly better than average pitcher. Westbrook was decidedly worse.

      Tell me that we aren’t still giving terrible pitchers credit when their league leading offenses overcome their poor performances. The pitcher win stat is near meaningless, even when you’re trying to determine a pitcher’s impact to an individual game. It’s 2012 now. We’ve known a lot better for a long time.

      Granted, his strike rate is down, his walk rate is up, and he’s going to be 34 next season. The problem is that Westbrook was never a very good pitcher. Just an average one. He had a 4.08 xFIP last year and a career 4.02. Oswalt had a 3.95 and a career 3.58 and is clearly the higher upside pitcher. Granted, Lohse’s career numbers are much worse.

      As for starting pitchers not staying healthy, that makes sense. Of course, the team already has more relievers than spots on the roster for them, and the idea of Lance Lynn or Shelby Miller (later on in the year) stepping into the rotation would seem stronger than sticking with Westbrook.

      Then, of course, there is the matter of paying everyone.

      • blingboy says:

        I kind of look at it similar to Theriot. It’s not his fault we somehow thought he was something he’s not.

        We decided to pay $8M for a back of rotation guy, and we got one who did a reasonable job in that role.

        If Lynn looks good in ST, OK. Miller later, better still.

      • blingboy says:

        The spotty infield D didn’t play to Jake’s stregnth.

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