ST. LOUIS– Yadier Molina made it official today and confirmed 2022 will be his final season in Major League Baseball and he is ending his career with the St. Louis Cardinals.
“It’s going to be my last year, I want to finish with this great organization,” said Molina during a morning press conference.
Next season will be Molina’s 19th year with the Cardinals. He signed a one-year deal for $10 million.
“It’s enough, it’s a long career. My position is a tough one,” explained Molina.
He said it’s hard to keep up with this game to a high level. The 39-year-old is a nine-time Gold Glove winner, four-time Platinum Glove winner, and a 10-time National League All-Star.
Molina says he pushed to get the deal done now because he didn’t want to go through free agency again. He said he knew he wanted to retire next year.
“I want to finish with the Cardinals,” said Molina.
John Mozeliak, the president of baseball operations for the Cardinals, said it was one of the oddest negotiations he’s ever been a part of during his career.
“Here you have this treasure, he’s been iconic for this organization, what am I supposed to do, fight over money,” said Mozeliak.
He explained Yadi came to him about a month and a half ago and said he didn’t want to go through free agency. He told Mozeilak he wanted to finish his career with the Cardinals and let’s just get the deal done.
“What is a better way for us to thank Yadi for his career. I mean, kick the can down the road, let him go through free agency, and try to sign him in January,” said Mozeliak.
Molina said he would love to end his career with Adam Wainwright. Last year, it was Wainwright bugging Molina about staying around, now it is the other way around.
Molina was also asked if he’d given thought to playing in ballparks for one last time. He said he is looking forward to going to places like Cincinnati and Chicago and getting booed.
Molina trails Stan Musial (22) for most seasons played solely for the Cardinals.
He holds franchise records in games caught (2,080), starts at catcher (2,014), innings caught (17,441.2), pick-offs (52), putouts (14,446), total chances (15,551), caught stealing percentage (40.4%), and sacrifice flies (73).
Molina ranks third among all Cardinals for games played (2,119) and at-bats (7,455), fourth in doubles (397) and total hits (2,089), seventh in RBI (983) and total bases (3,004), and 10th in home runs (168) and extra-base hits (572).
Molina is only the 11th primary Major League catcher to record 2,000 hits over his career.
No. 4 and teammate Adam Wainwright rank fourth all-time in Major League history in games started as battery mates (298 games).
In the postseason, Molina is the active leader in Major League postseason games played and hits (both 101). He’s appeared in 11 postseasons, more than any other Cardinal in team history.
Molina won the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award for off-the-field service. His philanthropic efforts include Foundation 4, a nonprofit focused on improving the lives of underprivileged children in his native Puerto Rico. Following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017, Molina helped raise over $800,000 in recovery funds.
The Cardinals catcher has played in every World Baseball Classic for his homeland, totaling 20 games. Puerto Rico was the runner-up in the 2017 event.