Yadi, Cards agree to 1-year extension 

August 24th, 2021

ST. LOUIS -- He's coming back.

The Cardinals and have agreed to a one-year contract extension that will keep the catcher in St. Louis through 2022, the team announced prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Tigers. The club did not announce the financial figure, though MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported it's for $10 million. The deal was first reported by Katie Woo of The Athletic.

Molina, 39, has spent his entire 18-year career with the Cards, winning nine Gold Glove Awards and two World Series titles (2006, '11). Signed back on a one-year, $9 million deal in February, Molina has stated how much he disliked the uncertainty of this past offseason, when he tested free agency for the first time in his career. The alternative was to get a deal done for one more year before free agency began, a pact which he and the club have now finalized.

The 2022 season, though, will allow Molina one last send-off.

“We are pleased to announce that Yadi has agreed to cement his career legacy with the Cardinals for a final season in 2022,” president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said in a press release. “His experience, leadership, work ethic and winning desire are all part of what we value as an organization.”

“On behalf of the Cardinals and our fans, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Yadier Molina will continue his franchise legacy for another season in 2022,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a press release. “Yadi has continued to play at an All-Star level this season, and has already established himself among the greatest players to have ever worn the birds on the bat.”

Molina made his 10th All-Star team earlier this season and entered Tuesday hitting .259/.304/.376 with eight homers and 51 RBIs in 94 games, including 91 starts behind the plate.

Back in April, Molina became the first backstop in AL/NL history to catch 2,000 games with one team, and he recently surpassed Albert Pujols for fourth on the Cardinals’ hits list. In his career, Molina has 2,089 hits, 168 homers, 397 doubles, 983 RBIs and a .734 OPS.

Molina's season has been two-faced, blazing onto the stage with an .847 OPS through the first two months before cooling off, with a .236/.292/.276 slash line and just six extra-base hits since the start of June as he's fought a neck strain and a lingering foot injury that he sustained at the end of April. Still, his pitchers have preached ebullient confidence in both his game-calling and defense, helping navigate the club through a tumultuous season health-wise in the starting rotation.

No starter has been more prideful to pitch to Molina than Adam Wainwright.

Soon, Molina and Wainwright will hit 300 starts together, becoming just the fourth duo in AL/NL history to reach that mark. They likely won't catch Red Faber and Ray Schalk (306) for third on the all-time list this season, but one more season together could very well see them overtake Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan (324) for first place in all-time batteries.

Molina has signed on. Now it's Wainwright's turn to decide.