The St. Louis Cardinals and Yadier Molina have agreed to a five year contract extension worth more than $60 million, according to tweeted reports from Ken Rosenthal. The deal could be worth as much as $75 million, suggesting that the Cardinals value catcher defense significantly more than anybody was expecting them to.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 28, 2012
Molina, who suggested he’d be driving a hard bargain all spring and briefly appeared to break off negotiations, signed a five year, $21.75 million deal prior to the 2008 season; a free agent after 2012, he and the Cardinals began negotiating after the very best season of his career, one that saw him hit .305/.349/.465 with a career high 14 home runs.
One thing’s certain: If this really is the deal on which they agreed, Yadier Molina was not kidding about avoiding any whiff of a hometown discount. The Cardinals have made him one of the highest-paid catchers in the history of baseball, with only the Joe Mauers and Mike Piazzas of the world clearly ahead.