Yadier Molina may be done playing baseball, but that does not mean his time with the St. Louis Cardinals is over.
That return could come as soon as 2024. According to Katie Woo of The Athletic, the Cardinals and Molina have discussed his joining the major league coaching staff. Interest is said to be mutual in such an arrangement.
St. Louis Cardinals logical step in Yadier Molina coaching progression
Molina had been viewed as a future coach while putting together his Hall of Fame caliber career. He was a leader, a key part of the Cardinals Way and their winning legacy. Molina was a mentor for the younger players during his time in St. Louis, guiding them on their major league paths. His legacy will continue long after his playing days.
A return to St. Louis as part of Oli Marmol’s coaching staff also makes sense. Molina had shown an interest in coaching over the years, having managed in the Venezuelan Winter League and being named as the skipper for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. He has been far more than a courtesy hire, a name filling the role in an honourary manner. Molina has taken his role seriously, looking to improve as he appears to have his eye on a coaching career. A spot in the Cardinals’ organization would be a logical next step.
Marmol does have room on his coaching staff. Molina’s potential role is uncertain, but it would be an everyday position. One has to imagine he would work with their catchers and potentially the pitching staff. It is not a coincidence that the Cardinals pitchers struggled when Molina retired. Maybe having him back as a coach will make a difference.
The St. Louis Cardinals clearly missed Yadier Molina in 2023. He could be back, albeit in a different role, for 2024.