Washington: Nationals need to walk away from Yadier Molina
The Washington Nationals have money to spend, though shelling out north of $35M to Yadier Molina is not a wise investment.
Discussions between free agent catcher Yadier Molina and the Washington Nationals have slowed. The two sides were believed to be close to an agreement before Molina upped the ante a little bit. For this, the Nationals would be in the right mind to say, “thanks, but no thanks.”
The Nationals have been in the market for a catcher ever since Kurt Suzuki walked away in free agency at the beginning of the offseason. While Suzuki is still available, a reunion with the 37 year-old backstop seems unrealistic at this point.
While there is only one top-notch catcher on the market in J.T. Realmuto, there were several lower tier options available until recently. Every day it seems like a catcher is getting snapped up, and the Nationals options are increasingly shrinking. Even though management has stated they are comfortable with Yan Gomes catching 100 games this year, I believe they are still seeking an upgrade.
Don’t let Yadier Molina use his leverage against you, Mike Rizzo.
Molina has put together a Hall of Fame career, no doubt about it. The nine time All-Star, has nine Gold Gloves to his name and is a career .281 hitter. For his career he has thrown out 40% of attempted base stealers. He would be a great addition to the Nationals lineup.
His numbers have dropped recently, and while at age 38 Yadi may be a quality catcher still, he is not worth what he is allegedly asking for from the Nationals.
Yadi’s OPS the last two seasons are the worst they have been since his first two seasons. Where he used to play in nearly 140 games every year, the past two seasons he has caught in less than 70% of his team’s games. He’s not worth over $20M a year to catch just 114 (70%) games the next two seasons.
The Nationals would be wise to spend the money Yadi wants on an additional outfield bat and a starting pitcher for the rotation. Time to walk away from the table leave Molina in the unemployment line, until he brings more reasonable numbers from his side.