Report: 'Ridiculous' contract offer stalls talks between Cardinals, Molina
Representatives for the veteran backstop backed away from recent extension talks after deeming a contract offer from the club "ridiculous," sources told Mark Saxon of The Athletic.
Terms of the offer are not known. Molina is reportedly seeking at least a one-year, $10-million contract with an option for 2022, with a preference for a set two-year deal.
The Cardinals could look very different in 2021 if they are unable to retain the 17-year veteran. Longtime hurler Adam Wainwright is also on the open market, and the club already elected not to exercise Gold Glove second baseman Kolten Wong's option.
Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak on Wednesday blamed a tight budget and the COVID-19 pandemic for the uncertainty and potential roster overhaul.
"I am an advocate for fresh faces and trying to keep an environment that feels refreshing and new and exciting, but when you enter an offseason like we are entering and you have two legacy players that are entering free agency, really, for the first time, it poses a much different variable than just simply change for change's sake," Mozeliak said, according to Saxon.
"Then, couple in the pandemic and different kinds of finances, maybe not having the same flexibility as we did pre-pandemic, and there lies the problem."
Molina, 38, has made an indelible imprint on the Cardinals franchise and the city of St. Louis. He's been named to nine All-Star teams, won nine Gold Gloves and two World Series championships, and has hit .281/.333/.404 with 160 home runs in 2,025 games with the team.