JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals cleared out their Spring Training complex and departed for Memphis late Wednesday afternoon with Yadier Molina's contract situation still unresolved.This past weekend, Molina said that he would be open to negotiating an extension with the Cardinals up until the start of the regular season. That
JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals cleared out their Spring Training complex and departed for Memphis late Wednesday afternoon with Yadier Molina's contract situation still unresolved.
This past weekend, Molina said that he would be open to negotiating an extension with the Cardinals up until the start of the regular season. That stated timetable reignited talks between general manager John Mozeliak and Molina's agent, Melvin Roman, but those have not resulted in an agreement.
Molina said after Wednesday's 6-2 win that he was not aware of any progress made over the past three days.
"The clock is still running," Molina added.
With Opening Night now four days away, both sides plan to continue working toward a resolution that would secure Molina's place with the organization beyond this season.
"We understand there is a deadline," Mozeliak said on Wednesday. "I think everyone is going to roll up their sleeves and continue to work at it."
Molina is entering the final season of a five-year contract that he signed in 2012. There is a mutual option worth $15 million for '18, but Molina has indicated that he would prefer to test his value on the free-agent market than exercise that option.
Molina also previously hinted at the fact that he is looking to become the highest-paid catcher in the game. Buster Posey ($22 million), Russell Martin ($20 million) and Brian McCann ($17 million) will each make more this coming season than Molina, who will be paid $14 million.
However, these negotiations aren't simply about dollar figures. The Cardinals also have to decide how long a commitment they'd be willing to make to Molina, who will turn 35 in July. Molina plans to play for several more years, saying just this past weekend that he feels "like a 20-year-old kid."
Though Molina made it clear that he would like to turn his focus to on-field matters once the season begins, the Cardinals would be willing to extend contract talks beyond Sunday if he eases on that stance.
"I've always said we're always open for business," Mozeliak said. "So we don't have any hard deadlines, but we certainly recognize when someone gives us one."
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.