The New York Mets and Yankees are both on the hunt for a catching upgrade, turning their attention towards Yadier Molina.
Yadier Molina is synonymous with the St. Louis Cardinals like David Wright is with the New York Mets or Derek Jeter is with the New York Yankees. It just seems impossible to imagine him in another jersey.
However, he’s a free agent this year, and according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, teams are portraying interest in the future Hall of Famer.
Future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina has received calls with interest from both the Yankees and Mets plus 3-4 other teams in addition to the #STLCards as I just said on @MLBNetwork St. Louis is the likely favorite but in free agency you never know. Seeks a 2-year deal.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 12, 2020
The Cardinals are still the favorites and it’s hard to see him ever leaving. Free agency is a crazy place though, and it’s possible he walks if someone offers him a two-year deal.
Molina and the Mets have forever been adversaries. It’s impossible to forget his series-winning home run in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, and that’s just the biggest moment. Molina has hit .309/.346/.398 against the Mets throughout his career.
Now, he might be the perfect fit for them behind the plate. If the Mets don’t chase J.T. Realmuto, Molina is the next best option. He may not be elite defensively anymore but is still solidly above-average. He’s never been an offensive force but isn’t a black hole in those regards either.
Molina’s fit with the Yankees makes a little less sense. With Gary Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka already under contract, it would probably take a trade to open up room for Yadi. That would likely add payroll, not subtract it.
It’s possible the Yankees are simply on the lookout to add the best defensive catcher they can. However, it’s hard to see Molina accepting a role on someone’s bench as a defensive replacement and twice-a-week starter. He’ll have better options available to him.