Over the weekend, we learned that Bengie Molina is officially retired after sitting out the 2011 season. One of his brothers, though, is very much still active, and he's on the verge of signing a long-term deal to stay put in St. Louis.
That's catcher Yadier Molina, of course. Molina is entering the final year of his old contract, so he and the Cardinals have made a lot of progress toward reaching a new one. Joe Strauss expects everything to be finalized by the end of the week, and Ken Rosenthal reports that Molina will be guaranteed more than $60 million. One source calls it $75 million, but that's presently unconfirmed.
The 29-year-old Molina recently said he didn't want to discuss a contract during the season, giving these talks a sense of urgency. Not long ago, talks appeared to have broken off, but then they started back up again, and now everything's almost completely done. Perhaps spooked by having lost Albert Pujols, the Cardinals are going to make a big commitment to a guy who's been a big part of the team.
Molina owns an 88 career OPS+, but he's posted a 103 OPS+ the last three seasons. He's durable, he makes a lot of contact, and he has an outstanding defensive reputation. Pitchers like him, and he's gunned down four out of every nine potential base-stealers. He's been a fantastic regular catcher for a while. The question is whether he can continue to be a fantastic regular catcher for several more seasons, and the Cardinals apparently think his odds are good enough.
Assume that this'll get done. We're just waiting on an official announcement.