How Yadier Molina’s Extension Impacts the Colorado Rockies
By Kevin Henry
The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly re-signing catcher Yadier Molina to a three-year contract extension before the 2017 regular season begins. It’s a move that could have implications on the Colorado Rockies this season.
How does a St. Louis signing affect the Rockies? Well, there are two main ways.
First, it solidifies the Cardinals a bit more in the chemistry department. Molina has been a Cardinal since he first came into the league and re-signing him to a deal almost ensures that he will retire as a member of the St. Louis organization. That’s a rarity in today’s business known as Major League Baseball.
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Without Molina’s contract situation hanging over the Cardinals, it’s one less distraction for the team to deal with as the season begins. Remember, this is a team that signed former Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler away from the World Champion Chicago Cubs as their biggest free agent signing of the offseason. With Fowler patrolling center field, it was thought that St. Louis could jump back into playoff contention this year. With Molina solidified behind the plate, it’s even more possible.
Another playoff contender getting stronger is always something that Rockies fans should be watching. Colorado is already in a tough National League West division and could be battling as many as three other division foes for a postseason berth. Add to that any other team outside of the division getting stronger and you can see where Colorado’s playoff push could become a bit more intense.
Second, Molina being signed means that there’s far less of a chance for the Rockies (or any other team, for that matter) to grab Molina’s services at the trading deadline. As I said in this article, the Rockies could have traded for Molina to better their playoff chances if the veteran catcher was going to be a free agent at the end of the season. With that possibility now gone, so likely is the possibility of Molina wearing purple pinstripes.
Sure, it was a far-reaching chance to begin with … but at least there was a chance.
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Bottom line, Molina’s signing strengthens the Cardinals. That’s not only bad news for the Cubs as they try to defend their World Series title, but also for any other National League team, including the Rockies, that is trying to reach the postseason.