Well, I can name at least two teams that are ticked off by catcher Yadier Molina's five-year, $75 million extension with the St. Louis Cardinals:
- The Arizona Diamondbacks, who broke off talks on an extension with catcher Miguel Montero and might lose him to free agency.
- The Atlanta Braves, who control catcher Brian McCann for two more seasons, but might need to pay him more than they ever imagined long-term.
Molina, who turns 30 on July 13, has won four Gold Gloves, made three All-Star teams and helped the Cardinals win two World Series.
His new deal not only is the second-largest ever for a catcher, but also a game-changer for future free-agent catchers and perhaps even top defenders at other positions.
I get it, for reasons that I will explain shortly. But a number of rival executives are displeased, and not simply because any long-term deal for a catcher is an undeniable risk.
Molina, before breaking out last season, had a .688 career OPS.
Therein lies the rub.