Within the announcement, team president John Mozeliak indicated that next season will be Molina’s last.
Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak is quoted in the team's official release as saying: "We are pleased to announce that Yadi has agreed to cement his career legacy with the Cardinals for a final season in 2022."
— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) August 24, 2021
Molina is undoubtedly a Cardinals legend.
He’s not the player he used to be, but he still brings an invaluable presence to the organization.
Cardinals fans should be stoked that the 39-year-old is going to go out the right way.
Let’s break it all down.
Molina Deserves To Finish His Career With The Cardinals
It’s only right that Molina will finish his playing days with St. Louis.
The veteran has spent his entire 18-year career with the Cardinals.
Next year will be his 19th and final season at the MLB level.
He’s the epitome of a homegrown talent, as the Cardinals drafted him themselves more than two decades ago.
There are 21-year-olds alive today who were not born yet when St. Louis drafted Molina in 2000.
That’s pretty mind-boggling.
The former fourth-round pick has accomplished a ton during his time with the organization.
He is a 10-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glover, one-time Silver Slugger, and above all, a two-time World Series champion.
He’s a lifetime .280 hitter, and last season, he became the 12th catcher in baseball history to reach 2,000 hits.
2,000 career hits for Yadier Molina! pic.twitter.com/CKwpj3MSFR
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 25, 2020
Molina has also played in more than 100 postseason games.
He’s a career .280 hitter in the playoffs (which is right in line with his regular season average), not to mention his immeasurable impact defensively.
There’s no telling what the past two decades would have been like for the Cardinals without Molina.
The Cardinals Would Love To Send Molina Out With Another Ring
As mentioned, Molina has already won two World Series titles during his time with the Cardinals.
But wouldn’t it be poetic for him to get one more?
It’s not out of the question this season, and it’s certainly a possibility for the 2022 season.
As it pertains to the current campaign, the Cardinals are still alive in the Wild Card race.
They’re 4.5 games out of a playoff bid with a little over a month remaining in the regular season.
The team is just now getting healthy, so it’s too soon to count St. Louis out.
With a strong September, the Cards could find themselves in the postseason.
But if that fails, Molina will have one last stab at another title in 2022.
St. Louis has a solid foundation in place, and a strong offseason could take the team to the next level.
Re-signing those two should be a priority.
Aside from the rotation, the Cardinals would be wise to address their lackluster lineup.
The team is averaging just 4.07 runs per game this season.
That ranks 25th in all of baseball.
The free agent market is going to be full of superstar bats, so St. Louis should get busy.
With a few splashes, the Cardinals could certainly return in 2022 as World Series contenders in Molina’s final year.