The St. Louis Cardinals very well might have lost the most valuable player in the National League when they lost catcher Yadier Molina for 8-12 weeks to a torn thumb ligament.
Between his ability to call games, handle a pitching staff, block pitches, frame pitches, and contribute offensively, Molina is the leader for the Cardinals and the best catcher in baseball. It is hard to even measure the impact this has on the Cardinals and on the playoff race in the National League. As such, it might require a bold move by the Cardinals to offset his absence from the lineup.
That move could be a trade, and multiple writers have suggested that it could be a trade for Yadier’s brother Jose Molina.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Cardinals consider another Molina — Jose — as they search for an alternative to Yadier. TB will listen.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 11, 2014
Jose Molina grades out well defensively and would likely present the smoothest transition in terms of game-calling and defense. He would present a significant drop-off offensively, however: .187/.224/.194 is his slash line so far this season for the Tampa Bay Rays.
When he does get on base there is a different issue; glacial might be the best word to describe his speed. The point here is this: Yadier is a plus player offensively, while his brother Jose is a non-factor in that regard. That matters in the National League and may or may not complicate a possible trade.
Then again, Jose would not have to play everyday and the Cardinals are uniquely positioned in terms of prospects to make a deal for a role player like him. They might decide to give Tony Cruz a shot first to see how things go and then consider the trade market for Yadier’s brother.