Should Cardinals make Molina a wealthier man?

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina tags out Milwaukee Brewers' Norichika Aoki at home during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, in Milwaukee. Aoki tried to score from second on a hit by Aramis Ramirez. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The Cardinals shouldn’t sign Yadier Molina to a long-term deal.

The story:

Molina said over the weekend that he would not be willing to discuss a new deal during the season, seemingly setting an Opening Day deadline to wrap talks up one way or another. If it doesn’t come to fruition, then the 34-year-old would almost certainly hit the open market after the season. Though his contract does include a $15MM mutual option, with a $2MM buyout, there’s little likelihood of both sides wanting to exercise that clause. The terms under consideration aren’t clear at this point, but Heyman notes that the sides were working to bridge initial differences in the length of the new deal. Molina’s representatives opened with a four-year request, with the organization coming in at two seasons. That leaves three as the natural (and, in this case, seemingly reasonable) compromise point, though of course options could also be used to tweak the consideration in either direction.

Getting closer:

Young pitching staff:

Molina still making amazing plays:

St Louis Dispatch:

The World Baseball Classic showcased the bounce that Molina brings into this season, and it is a continuation of last summer. Molina, who turns 35 in July, led the majors in innings behind the plate, and he hit .365 in the second half with a .529 slugging percentage. People close to Molina said he was driven all winter by the fact that he was not an All-Star in 2016 and, for the first time since 2007, did not win the Rawlings Gold Glove award at catcher. Molina had a one-word explanation for the pep: “Health.”

How much would Molina receive?:

A repeat season, adorned with a Gold Glove, would assert his place with the elite catchers in the game. Since he signed his extension, Buster Posey, who won last year’s Gold Glove, and Russell Martin have reached $20 million salaries. Molina made it clear Saturday he’s aware of “too many catchers making more money.” Asked if the Cardinals would be willing to make Molina the highest-paid catcher in the game, DeWitt said: “He would certainly be one of the highest-paid catchers. Part of that is (annual average value), part of it is length. That all factors into what he ends up looking for and what makes sense for the club.”

Nice bat strength:

The fans have spoken:

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