Cardinals, C Molina reach 5-year, $75M deal


March 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract with four-time Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina. The team announced the details Thursday. The contract begins next year and will keep Molina in St. Louis through the 2017 season. There is a mutual, $15 million option for a sixth year. General manager John Mozeliak says the Cardinals consider Molina to be the best catcher in baseball. The 29-year-old Molina is a lifetime Cardinal and one of the best defensively at any position, winning a platinum glove last season in voting by fans. He also is coming off the best offensive season of his career. Molina batted .305 in 2011 with 14 home runs and 65 RBIs, and added 12 RBIs during the team’s World Series title run. He’s been durable, too, averaging 138 games the last three seasons.