A pair of Gold Glove catchers are among the Redbird free agents, but the KC Royals have Gold of their own.
Who wouldn’t want a nine-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glover on a sure path to Cooperstown, a catcher with a career .281 batting average, over 2,000 career hits, a Silver Slugger and a proven knack for throwing out runners who try to steal on him? Who wouldn’t want such a backstop behind their plate?
It’s not “want” that will keep the Royals from pursuing 17-year veteran Yadier Molina. It’s need. Simply put, Kansas City has no need for Molina because they have Salvador Perez, who’s collected five Gold Gloves of his own, made the All-Star team six times, and won two more Silver Sluggers than Molina, all in half the time it’s taken Molina to amass his awards. And, after missing all of 2019 rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, Perez served notice that he has plenty left by slashing .333/.353/.633 and hitting 11 homers in 37 games this past season.
But Molina will command an excellent deal somewhere, most likely with the Cardinals. Other teams will be reluctant to give a multi-season deal to a catcher who’ll be 39 by midseason, and the 17-year old bond between Molina and St. Louis will be hard for player or club to break.
The Royals might, but probably won’t, consider Matt Wieters, a four-time All-Star whose best years were with Baltimore from 2009-2016. Wieters has served the Cards well for two seasons as Molina’s backup, and could do the same for Perez and Kansas City. But his bat isn’t what it once was with the O’s and he’ll be 35 in May, facts that don’t bode well for him replacing current Perez backups Cam Gallagher and Meibrys Viloria. Although they’re not excellent hitters either, they’re serviceable and know the Royals’ pitchers. There just isn’t a place in Kansas City for Wieters.