Is it possible Albert Pujols recruits Yadier Molina to the Angels?
The Mets signing James McCann to a 4-year, $40.6 million deal gives a general idea of the catching free-agent market. The biggest available name is J.T. Realmuto, who some are projecting to break AAV records. If the Angels don’t want to break their bank completely but are still willing to spend, Yadier Molina is someone they may consider.
The 38-year old Molina is projected to sign a deal in the one-year $10 million range next season with options for a second year. After 17 seasons in the big leagues, he’s no spring chicken, but still one of baseball’s smartest players on the field.
Offensively, Molina hasn’t put up eye-popping numbers the last five seasons, but he’s got a knack for being an annoyingly tough out. He rarely strikes out and is one of the best at using the entire field as a hitter.
Yadier Molina Last Five Seasons:
- 2016: (147 games) .307 BA 8 HR 58 RBI .787 OPS
- 2017: (136 games) .273 BA 18 HR 82 RBI .751 OPS (All-Star)
- 2018: (123 games) .261 BA 20 HR 74 RBI .750 OPS (All-Star)
- 2019: (113 games) .270 BA 10 HR 57 RBI .711 OPS
- 2020: (42 games) .262 BA 4 HR 16 RBI .662 OPS
Early in the offseason, there were rumblings of Molina upset with the Cardinals. His older brother, Bengie Molina went on a podcast to say Yadi wanted to feel “appreciated”.
Since then, both the Cardinals and Molina have seemed to resolve whatever bad-feelings they had with one another. Now there’s optimism that both sides will reach an agreement sooner than later.
It would be a tough sell to pry away Molina from St. Louis. Maybe he can be bought with a bigger contract, though it’s probably not worth overpaying a player of his age even if he is one of baseball’s greatest catchers.
One person who could step in to recruit Molina to the Halos is his former teammate, Albert Pujols. There haven’t been any official reports of this, I’m purely speculating here.
Pujols and Molina went to the postseason in five of their eight seasons together in St. Louis where they won two-World Series titles. That’s a special bond the pair has together.
The duo is entering the twilight years of their baseball careers, could that bond be enough where they ride off into the Los Angeles sunset together? Probably not, but it’s nice to think about.