A few months after the St. Louis Cardinals lost Albert Pujols to the Las Angeles Angels, they signed catcher Yadier Molina to an extension. One can infer from the timing that, losing Pujols freed up the money the Cards needed to make the Molina deal and, with that, the Cardinals made Molina the face of the franchise.
Of course, ask any Cardinals fan back then who they would rather have, they would say Pujols. Now, I'm not so sure.
In his first American League season, Pujols struggled out of the gate and had the worst season of his career (albeit still a very good season). Meanwhile, Molina had a breakout year for the Cards.
Which leads to the question is Molina more valuable that Pujols, at least going forward?
Looking at their raw stats, there is not much difference between the two:
Pujols - .285/.343/.516, .859 OPS (141 OPS+), 30 HR's
Molina - .315/.373/.501, .874 OPS (137 OPS+), 22 HR's
However, when you look at their sabermetrics, its pretty clear that Molina had the ...