Cards expect Yadi decision soon (sources)

January 29th, 2021

ST. LOUIS -- With one part of their longtime battery back on the roster for 2021, the Cardinals seem to be speeding toward a reunion with the second part.

After signing Adam Wainwright to a one-year deal on Friday, all signs are pointing toward returning to the Cardinals. The 38-year-old catcher is weighing an offer from the Cards and is expected to make a decision soon, sources told MLB Network insider Jon Morosi and El Nuevo Dia, a newspaper in Puerto Rico, reported that Molina expects to sign after he plays for Criollos de Caguas, Puerto Rico’s representative in the Caribbean Series, which begins this weekend.

The Cardinals are the one team known to have an offer awaiting Molina’s reply. Several of the teams that had interest in Molina this offseason have filled those spots.

On Friday, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak would not discuss free agents that the Cardinals are pursuing, but he said that the club is still “having open discussions” and that “time will tell.”

“As I stated from Day 1, our goals were to try to find ways to bring back Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina,” Mozeliak said. “Today we were able to do one, so we have work ahead of us. We understand that. But the point is, if we had to play baseball tomorrow, we’d still have confidence we’d be a very competitive team.”

On Thursday, Molina shared a photo on Instagram of himself and Wainwright in Cardinals uniforms with the caption, “Hermanos!!!!”

Wainwright and Molina have repeated all offseason their wish to remain Cardinals, and they have remained in touch about returning to the team together and possibly completing their careers together. On Thursday night, Wainwright said he talked to Molina as the catcher stood outside a dugout, in full uniform, in Puerto Rico. The nine-time Gold Glove Award winner has often talked about how much he enjoys playing for Puerto Rico, but he’s never appeared in the Caribbean Series because it happens when he’s in Jupiter, Fla., prepping for the upcoming season with the Cards.

“I think his market was a little slower than he expected it to be,” Wainwright said Friday. “I think deep down, teams didn’t think we were going to leave St. Louis. At first, everybody was intrigued, and then there was this period in the middle where everyone was like, ‘They’re going back.’ I think teams would be surprised at what goes through a player’s mind, even as long as we’ve been there. New adventures seem fun, but winning is the thing that drives you.

“Yadi is a winner and he wants to win. So we’ll see. I know he loves St. Louis and I know he loves being a Cardinals player. He’s going to have a statue up there and his number on the wall anyway, but it would be cool to have him back this year.”