Aug. 24 (UPI) — All-Star catcher Yadier Molina is returning to the St. Louis Cardinals for one final season after agreeing to a one-year contract extension with the club Tuesday.
League sources told ESPN, The Athletic and MLB Media that Molina’s one-year extension is worth $10 million. The Cardinals announced the agreement, but the team didn’t reveal financial terms of the deal.
“We are pleased to announce that Yadi has agreed to cement his career legacy with the Cardinals for a final season in 2022,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said in a statement. “His experience, leadership, work ethic and winning desire are all part of what we value as an organization.”
The 39-year-old Molina has spent his entire professional career with the Cardinals — a total of 2,119 games over 18 seasons. The only two players to compete in more games in a Cardinals uniform are Hall of Famers Stan Musial (3,026) and Lou Brock (2,289).
“I’m so happy, so happy,” Molina told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before the Cardinals’ game against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Molina, playing this season on a one-year, $9 million contract, previously said he didn’t want to enter free agency again this coming off-season.
The 10-time All-Star catcher broke into the majors with the Cardinals in 2004 and has remained with the club since, helping guide the organization to four National League pennants and two World Series championships in 2006 and 2011.
The Cardinals selected Molina in the fourth round of the 2000 amateur draft. The Puerto Rico native has a .280 career batting average with 168 home runs and 983 RBIs entering Tuesday’s game.
Molina also is a nine-time Gold Glove Award winner and won the Silver Slugger Award in 2013.