Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright are running it back.
The Cardinals have awakened from their offseason slumber. After waiting out most of the Winter thus far, St. Louis signed Adam Wainwright just a few days back, and expressed their interest in trading for Colorado Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Their next move? Completing the legendary pairing of Wainwright and Yadier Molina after there was some fear they’d lose one if not both due to budget constraints. Yadi is expected to re-sign in St. Louis, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network and El Nuevo Dia.
The NL Central is up for the taking, with no team standing out in terms of offseason upgrades. In fact, all four of the Brewers, Cubs, Pirates and Reds appear to be shedding payroll.
The Cubs added Joc Pederson on Friday in a modest move, but such a signing will not put them atop any NL Central Power Rankings before Spring Training begins.
For the Cardinals, Molina is a franchise icon. A nine-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove Award winner, four-time Platinum Glove winner and two-time World Series champion, Molina has done it all in St. Louis. When he does hang up his catcher’s mitt, he’ll be headed to Cooperstown as well.
Perhaps most important for this Cardinals team, however, is that he hasn’t exactly fallen off like most backstops his age. Molina made the All-Star team in 2017 and 2018, and hasn’t hit under .260 since he was 23 years old. Defensively, he remains a force behind the plate — base-runners beware.
If St. Louis is at the least able to bring back Kolten Wong to cement their infield, they become an instant favorite to win the Central and a force in the National League. Heck, they might already be Central favorites. Any other move — especially an Arenado trade — will include them in the discussion for World Series hopefuls.