Free agent catcher Yadier Molina is reportedly seeking a two-year contract, one the Washington Nationals should not offer.
Word dropped free agent to be Yadier Molina is seeking a multi-year contract this offseason. There has been some clamoring out there suggesting Molina would be a good fit for the Washington Nationals. I’m not a fan of this clamoring.
Do you remember the last two year contract the Nationals offered to an aging catcher? Ivan Rodriguez was brought in at 2 YRS/$6M back in 2010 and at age 39 he played just 44 games, hitting .218, with two home runs.
Okay, the Nationals were in a different place then. They were still two years away from their first division title, and Rodriguez was signed to fill the shoes of Jesus Flores who missed the entire 2010 season. Rodriguez took a backseat to Wilson Ramos the following year.
Molina won’t come this cheap, and you don’t bring in a guy like Molina to play second fiddle. He may not even be happy splitting time with Yan Gomes. This would be okay, nothing says Gomes has earned the right to even share the job. Is Yadi the guy though?
Turning 39 mid-July of next year, Molina’s numbers are better than most catchers who are entering free agency, save J.T. Realmuto. Where he has never really hit for power (2 years of 20+ home runs in 17 years) he does hit for average.
There is no questioning he would be an upgrade behind the plate as well. His pitch framing is slightly above average and he guns down 40% of attempted base stealers over the course of his career.
Molina is coming off a 3 YR/$60M contract he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, the only team he has played for in his lengthy career. Where he won’t command money like this for the two-year deal he seeks, he will have an expensive price tag.
I’m on record saying the Nationals should spend their money elsewhere when it comes to Realmuto. I’d like to make the same statement when it comes to Yadier Molina. I’m good with the Nationals bringing in a third tier catcher and spending the money saved on George Springer or the likes.