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Yadier Molina intends to play beyond 2020, whether or not with Cardinals

MLB Trade Rumors logo MLB Trade Rumors 4/29/2020 Jeff Todd, MLB Trade Rumors
a baseball player holding a bat while standing on a stage: St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina plans to play beyond 2020. © Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina plans to play beyond 2020.

In an interesting twist on the post-2020 catching market, long-time Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina tells ESPN.com’s Marly Rivera that he’s open to playing in another uniform if and when he reaches free agency.

That’s quite a different stance than the one Molina announced just a few months ago. He made clear then that he was interested in continuing to play, but only in St. Louis, where he has been a fixture behind the dish since 2005. The team reciprocated and launched extension talks that seemed likely to come to fruition.

Now? Molina explains to Rivera that “the situation with this pandemic has changed everything.” While he still prefers to remain with the Cards — the only team he has ever played for — the likely future Hall of Famer says he’s “willing to go into free agency” and find another organization.

It seems the change of heart is less about Molina’s feelings towards the team than it is his feelings for the game of baseball itself. He says he’d like to “have that conversation” again about an extension with the Cardinals, at least once baseball finally starts back up. And Molina says he’s “confident” an agreement will come together.

But the time away from the game has also convinced Molina he wants to keep going past a (likely shortened) 2020 campaign.  In fact, the 37-year-old says he intends to keep playing for two more seasons no matter the outcome of his talks with the Cards.

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