The 38 year old future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina, will enter free agency for the first time in his major league career, after spending the last 17 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, and becoming an all time great with the franchise. Molina suprisingly, has been pretty average with the bat in his career, as he has a .281/.333/.404 slash, with a .737 OPS and 98 OPS+ for his career. Molina is becoming more and more of an offensive liability as he has gotten older, which is often seen with catchers, as he ranked in the bottom 4th percentile in Exit Velocity, and Hard Hit percentage. Molina is a mixed bag with the bat, as he does not walk at even close to the league average, averaging a 5.4 percent walk rate (league average sitting usually in the 8 percent range). While he does not walk, he also does not strike out, not having seen his strikeout percentage go above 13.5 in the past six seasons.
With the glove, it is obvious why Molina is one of the best catchers of all time, being a nine time Gold Glove winner, and four time Platinum Glove winner. Molina is ranked as the 18th best defender of all time, among all positions, with 25.4 Defensive WAR. And while Molina might not be the same defender he was when he won eight gold gloves in a row from 2008-2015, he still is desired by teams, because of his well above average, and accurate arm, and ability to coach pitchers from behind the plate.
I believe Molina, while he will not get in on the first ballot, is a shoe in for the hall of fame, based off his glove alone, and the offensive stats, that have been steady throughout his entire career. He still will continue on in 2021, and hopefully further, because the energy and leadership he brings, is great for the game.
These are the teams I believe have the best chance of signing Molina: St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels
Final Landing Spot Prediction: Yadier Molina signs a 2yr/22 million dollar deal with the St. Louis Cardinals
2021 Stat Line Prediction: .281/.338/.419 .757 OPS 9 HR 49 RBI