Molina hopes for smoother discussions as contract comes up again
"I don't want to go through that again," Molina told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Gould. "The idea is to get something done early and see what can happen. That would be great. That would be good. That would be awesome."
Molina signed a one-year deal for $9 million in February following weeks of treacherous negotiations. The 39-year-old reportedly fielded interest from other ballclubs before returning to St. Louis, where he's won two World Series and spent his entire career.
The decorated catcher is looking to play one more season. He could serve as a bridge to Cardinals prospect Ivan Herrera, though the 21-year-old has struggled offensively this year in Double-A.
Molina earned his 10th All-Star selection this season, but his numbers tailed off after a prosperous first month. In 82 games, he's slashed .254./295/.381 with eight homers and 41 RBIs. He's in danger of finishing the season with an OPS below .700 for the second straight year.
The Puerto Rican star battled foot and neck injuries earlier this season, but believes he's healthy enough to perform down the stretch and in 2022.
"Right now, I feel good, healthy," he said. "It's one of those things, right? My neck, my foot - that's part of being a catcher, and playing through it is part of being a catcher. It's nothing serious. Mentally I feel great too. I'm ready to go."
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