PREMIER FRANCHISE PLAYER TO RETURN FOR 19TH SEASON AS A CARDINAL
ST. LOUIS, Mo., August 24, 2021–The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have agreed to terms with premier franchise catcher Yadier Molina on a one-year contract for the 2022 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“On behalf of the Cardinals and our fans, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Yadier Molina will continue his franchise legacy for another season in 2022,” stated Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. “Yadi has continued to play at an All-Star level this season, and has already established himself among the greatest players to have ever worn the birds on the bat.”
Molina, 39, a nine-time Rawlings Gold Glove award winner, four-time Platinum Glove winner and 10-time National League All-Star, has played every game of his career (2004-21) in a Cardinals uniform, totaling 2,119 games over 18 Major League seasons. His 2,080 career games behind the plate are the most of any catcher for just one team.
“We are pleased to announce that Yadi has agreed to cement his career legacy with the Cardinals for a final season in 2022,” said Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “His experience, leadership, work ethic and winning desire are all part of what we value as an organization.”
Molina’s 18 seasons played solely for the Cardinals, trail only Stan Musial’s record 22 seasons. He and Adam Wainwright have paired up in 298 games, ranking 4th all-time in Major League history in games started as battery mates.
Molina has helped lead the Cardinals to the World Series four times (2004, 2006, 2011, 2013) and won World Series Championships in 2006 and 2011. He is currently the active leader in Major League Baseball postseason games played and hits (both 101), the all-time leader among all National League players (6th overall in MLB history) and he has played in more postseasons than any other Cardinal in franchise history with 11.
Among catching leaders, Molina leads all Cardinals and ranks among Major League historical leaders in several categories: 4th in games caught (2,080) and starts at catcher (2,014), 5th in innings caught (17,441.2), 4th in pick-offs (52); 2nd in putouts (14,446) and total chances (15,551) and 10th in caught stealing percentage (40.4%).
Molina leads all Cardinals in sacrifice flies (73), ranks 3rd in games played (2,119), 3rd in at-bats (7,455), 4th in doubles (397) and hits (2,089), 7th in runs batted in (983) and total bases (3,004), and 10th in home runs (168) and extra base hits (572). On September 24, 2020 Molina became the sixth Cardinals player, and only the 11th primary Major League catcher to record 2,000 career hits.
Yadier was the recipient of the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award, Major League Baseball’s highest service-based honor. Molina’s off-the-field philanthropic efforts includes Foundation 4, his non-profit charity whose mission is to create happier lives and futures for underprivileged children in Puerto Rico. Yadier’s efforts following the 2017 damage done by Hurricane Maria to the island raised over $800,000, as well as his hands-on efforts less than 48 hours following the catastrophic weather ordeal. Molina was also voted the 2015 Darryl Kile Award recipient by his teammates.
Molina was drafted by the Cardinals in the 4th round (113th overall selection) of the 2000 Major League Baseball draft out of Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Yadier is currently ranked 12th all-time among native Puerto Rican’s in career batting average (.280) and he is one of just 10 players from his homeland to have reached the 2,000 career hit plateau. Yadi currently stands 12th in RBI (983) among his countrymen and 17th in home runs (168).
Since its inception in 2006, Molina has played in every World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico, totaling 20 games in the global pre-season tournament, finishing runner-up with the 2017 team, while garnering MVP honors for Pool F.