I'm thinking that Molina is gone. This is going to be a new era in Cardinal history without Pujols and Larussa. I'd feel a lot better with Molina behind the plate with our young pitching coming up.
• Having watched his close friend Albert Pujols go through the same situation and answer the same questions a year ago, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was prepared to talk about his contract this afternoon following the first official workout of spring training.
He also was forthcoming.
Molina acknowledged that the two sides had talked about an extension, and that his agent and the club did engage in some dialogue this winter about what it would take to keep Molina from reaching free agency at the end of the 2012 season. Those conversations, however, are now over.
"We stopped talking about it. For now, I think," Molina said, standing at his locker in the Cardinals spring training clubhouse. "For now, we've stopped talking. For now, I don't want to talk about it. Hopefully, when the season starts (something will be done)."
Asked if he would give a hometown discount, Molina said, "I don't know about that. I don't know about that. Like I say _ I always say this _ I like the town. I like the city. At the same time, I have to think about my family ... like they worry about their team. This is business. If I get good money, I'll take it. If not, I go away."
Molina said he did not want conversations about his contract to overshadow his preparation for the season. He was careful to point out that didn't mean he was going to close the door and walk away from negotiations as Pujols did with a deadline a year ago.
Molina is open to talking again.
He also did not rule out agreeing to a deal during the season.
Last season, Molina's agent, Melvin Roman, worked on and finalized an extension for another client, lefty Jaime Garcia, with the Cardinals. That deal was done in the middle of the season.
Molina is playing on the final year of an extension that paid him $21.5 million over five years with the Cardinals. This is the option year on that deal (signed in January 2008), and Molina will make $7 million this season.
You can see video of Molina's interview with the media at our live, real-time coverage of the Day 1 workout
. It's on one of the final two pages.
Molina said that he learned a lot by watching what Pujols went through last season and this winter. The two remain in contact. Molina called it "business" and he said that the Cardinals would be making "a business decision," when it came to approaching him again about an extension.
General manager John Mozeliak did not talk at length about the situation with Molina on Sunday morning when asked.
"Our desire would be to find a way to sign him," Mozeliak said.
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