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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Molina plans to retire at the end of his three-year extension | Cardinal Beat | stltoday.com

“Three more years, and that’s it,” Molina said.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 11:10 AM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, yadier molina

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   1. ajnrules Posted: January 16, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5607237)
Can't wait for the Yadier Molina Hall of Fame discussions in December 2025 and January 2026 when he makes his ballot debut. I have a feeling he will be the next Omar Vizquel, somebody who falls short of Hall standards on JAWS but a large population feels strongly should be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Incidentally, Vizquel would be in his 9th year on the ballot if he hadn't been voted in already.
   2. ckash Posted: January 16, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5607256)
I can get behind Yadier more than I can Vizquel. Molina was probably the best defensive Catcher of his era in his prime, and his hitting was mostly acceptable (98 OPS +, hit well in the playoffs). I'm not normally an intangibles guy and I'm not a Cards fan, but there's something about Molina's HOF candidacy that defies my normal view of this stuff.
   3. bachslunch Posted: January 16, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5607270)
Definitely don't see him as HoFer, especially not ahead of guys like Ted Simmons or (when he retires) Joe Mauer.

By BBReF WAR, he's behind a bunch of non-HoF players other than these two, including Gene Tenace, Thurman Munson, Wally Schang, Bill Freehan, Jorge Posada, Jason Kendall, Darrell Porter, Jim Sundberg, Lance Parrish, and Charlie Bennett. Unless there's some extremely huge kind of fielding credit not figured in, I say no way.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: January 16, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5607278)
Can't wait for the Yadier Molina Hall of Fame discussions in December 2025 and January 2026 when he makes his ballot debut.
Wait!? Around here, just mention any star player over age 25 and you'll probably get a HOF discussion on your hands.
   5. Scott Ross Posted: January 16, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5607282)
By BBRef WAR he's only the third-best catcher of his generation, behind Mauer, Posey, and Martin.
   6. jmurph Posted: January 16, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5607284)
With respect to Nasty Nate's point, I'm going to sidestep the HOF discussion and ask who will inherit Molina's mantle as the guy that broadcasters love to overrate?
   7. Srul Itza Posted: January 16, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5607294)
I don't see him as a HOFer, but he has a reputation for handling a pitching staff well, and for pitch framing. These don't seem to show up in BBREF WAR.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: January 16, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5607307)
I'm going to sidestep the HOF discussion and ask who will inherit Molina's mantle as the guy that broadcasters love to overrate?
I'd say Wieters, but overrating him has long been a thing that is, itself, overrated.
   9. RJ in TO Posted: January 16, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5607316)
By BBReF WAR, he's behind a bunch of non-HoF players other than these two, including Gene Tenace, Thurman Munson, Wally Schang, Bill Freehan, Jorge Posada, Jason Kendall, Darrell Porter, Jim Sundberg, Lance Parrish, and Charlie Bennett. Unless there's some extremely huge kind of fielding credit not figured in, I say no way.


From that list, based on nothing more than what I remember of their careers, I'd say that Thurman Munson, Wally Schang, Bill Freehan, and Jorge Posada would all be credible enough choices at catcher for the Hall, although via the VC. Tenace would be as well, except too many of his peak seasons were primarily as a non-catcher.

In a couple more years, I could see Molina being a reasonable (if overrated) candidate.
   10. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 16, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5607319)
Yadier is definitely the new Omar Vizquel. Even a super-Vizquel since he also has the near-extinct status of longtime stalwart for one team. A team that won multiple World Series. He checks all the non-statistical boxes.
   11. Booey Posted: January 16, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5607331)
re: Yadi vs Omar - Molina at least had a brief stretch where he was a legit superstar for a couple of years. It wasn't nearly as long as most people seem to think, so he's still not particularly close to being a worthy HOfer IMO, but that's more than Vizquel had. Omar had just one fluke season (1999) as an actual star.
   12. McCoy Posted: January 16, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5607338)
Weird to think of Molina as a superstar. Was that really true?
   13. Booey Posted: January 16, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5607347)
Weird to think of Molina as a superstar. Was that really true?


I'd say it was from 2011-2013. .313 avg, OPS+ of 130 in addition to the gold glove D. Finished 4th and 3rd in MVP voting in 2012 and 2013, with WAR totals of 6.9 and 5.6.

So yeah, he was a superstar for a brief stretch. But so were lots of other players no one talks about as a possible HOFer.
   14. salvomania Posted: January 16, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5607349)
Mauer only played 920 games at catcher, he'll soon have more than that at 1b-DH combined.

Molina after this season will have started more than 1000 games more at catcher than Tenace.

At some point in the catcher/HOF discussion, you have to account for the guys who were CATCHERS first and foremost.

Still, as a big Cardinals fan and someone who appreciates what Molina has done, I don't think that he's a HOFef unless he has some kind of insane end-of-career offensive explosion capped off by some postseason insanity.

He's had two seasons with more than 3.1 bWAR, and that ain't no Hall of Famer.
   15. Man o' Schwar Posted: January 16, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5607356)
Weird to think of Molina as a superstar. Was that really true?

Not really, no. He had consecutive years of 6.9 and 5.6 WAR in 2012 and 2013, but never got about 3.1 in any other season.

I guess he had 2 years where he was considered among the best players in the game, but I think "superstar" is overselling it. Even within the group of best players in the game, only a subset would truly be considered "superstars". It's hard to say he was even the best catcher in the NL - it would be either him or Posey (who put up 7.3 and 5.0 in those same season), but Posey also has 5 more seasons of 3.9 or higher.

Unless you think that there's some untapped defensive metric out there that's adding oodles of value that isn't otherwise showing up, he's pretty far below the line for me. Very good player definitely, but I could pick half a dozen catchers easily to add to the HoF before I'd start to consider him.
   16. Booey Posted: January 16, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5607385)
I guess he had 2 years where he was considered among the best players in the game, but I think "superstar" is overselling it.


I guess we could debate the definition of the term "superstar", but finishing 4th and 3rd in MVP voting in back to back years tells me that he was pretty highly regarded for those seasons, at least. If a (perceived) top 5 player isn't a superstar, then your definition is way too narrow.

But yes, that's a very brief span, which I mentioned in my original post. Certainly way too short to be a legit HOF candidate with the rest of the career he had.
   17. The Duke Posted: January 16, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5607386)
Yadi has quite a defensive reputation. Several above say he is over rated but he’s primarily over rated by players, managers and writers who have played against/with him or watched him, so he either brings something to the table that doesn’t get captured in the metrics or everyone is wrong and the stats are right. If you rate your hall catchers on offense he won’t get in but that’s not his calling card

I also think he gets credit for leading the cardinals to multiple World Series (and several long playoff runs) - I.e team captain bonus points for playing on consistently productive teams.

Finally, he will likely have a very high number of games caught when he retires ( top 5, Maybe more if he stays longer than 3 more years ). This is the vizquel argument - high quality defense for an insanely long time. I really think he is more like Ozzie Smith: otherworldly defense and average bat.

   18. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 16, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5607387)
There are 26 catchers in history with multiple Gold Gloves. Three of them are in the Hall of Fame - IRod, Bench, and Carter. Afew others on the list have received some HOF support, like Freehan and Elston Howard. Joe Mauer is also on this list, and is not eligible.

Here's the thing - Rodriguez (13) and Bench (10) are easily the two highest multi-time winners; but Molina is 3rd all-time, with eight. Most of the guys after him - Sundberg, Boone, Charles Johnson, Del Crandell, Mike Matheny, etc., are clearly not HOFers.

I guess I don't see Molina as a HOFer, but I am surprised that being a highly-decorated defensive catcher doesn't seem to get you as far as being a highly-decorated shortstop.
   19. Srul Itza Posted: January 16, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5607396)
I am surprised that being a highly-decorated defensive catcher doesn't seem to get you as far as being a highly-decorated shortstop.


For whatever reason, the voters seem to require more offense from their great-D HOF catchers, than they do from shortstops. Bench, Carter and IRod all had over 50 OWar.
   20. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: January 16, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5607399)
I guess I don't see Molina as a HOFer, but I am surprised that being a highly-decorated defensive catcher doesn't seem to get you as far as being a highly-decorated shortstop.
Scott Rolen has as many GGs as Molina, has approximately the same dWAR, and is likely one-and-done for the HOF.
I don't see him as a HOFer, but he has a reputation for handling a pitching staff well, and for pitch framing. These don't seem to show up in BBREF WAR.
I see it brought up constantly that Yadi had this extraordinary "handling the pitchers" talent that makes up for the 20+ WAR he's missing. But he would have to be the only decent catcher ever to have that talent to push him ahead of many other Cs not yet enshrined.
Here's the thing - Rodriguez (13) and Bench (10) are easily the two highest multi-time winners; but Molina is 3rd all-time, with eight. Most of the guys after him - Sundberg, Boone, Charles Johnson, Del Crandell, Mike Matheny, etc., are clearly not HOFers.
It's interesting you bring up Sundberg as "clearly not a HOFer". He has 6 GGs (vs. 8 for Molina) but similar rField (114 vs. 115) and more dWAR (25 VS. 22.1), oWAR (28.4 VS. 23.1), WAR (40.5 VS. 35.4), and is 23rd among Cs in JAWS vs. 29th. The only thing separating Molina from "clearly not a HOFer" Sundberg is "fame".
   21. Lassus Posted: January 16, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5607411)
Scott Rolen has as many GGs as Molina, has approximately the same dWAR, and is likely one-and-done for the HOF.

I don't think Molina belongs either, but he has a way better narrative - for good or ill - than Rolen. Even if he doesn't get in (and I think he will), there's no way he's one-and-done.
   22. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 16, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5607423)
Finally, he will likely have a very high number of games caught when he retires ( top 5, Maybe more if he stays longer than 3 more years ).

That doesn't seem to have done much for those already on the Games Caught list. Bob Boone (#3) & Jason Kendall (#5) didn't come close; the catchers that did get in, Rodriguez, Fisk, & Carter, could hit. The rest of the Top 10, Pena, Ausmus, Pierzynski, Sundberg & Lopez didn't (or won't) get elected either, because they just didn't hit enough.

It's true that HoF voters have generally not made a sufficient positional adjustment for catchers, but that shouldn't be corrected by swinging the pendulum so far in the direction of the undeserving. The Veterans Committee should take a close look at Freehan, Simmons, Posada and a few more. Even after that, unless Molina ends his career on 3-year surge, he's likely still on the outside.
   23. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 16, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5607425)
But he would have to be the only decent catcher ever to have that talent to push him ahead of many other Cs not yet enshrined.


He's not going to be on the same ballot as any of those catchers, so I don't know how it's relevant if he's 'ahead' of them or not.
   24. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: January 16, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5607450)
He's not going to be on the same ballot as any of those catchers, so I don't know how it's relevant if he's 'ahead' of them or not.
Because at this point he looks like a plain "very good" C. The at least as good Sundberg got exactly 1 vote the only year he was on the ballot.
   25. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 16, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5607465)
I am surprised that being a highly-decorated defensive catcher doesn't seem to get you as far as being a highly-decorated shortstop.


I think for narrative arguments, there has to be some kind of unique catch. Being THE BEST defensive third baseman in major-league history (Brooks Robinson) gets you in on the first ballot. Merely being one of the best defensive third basemen in history (Scott Rolen) gets you barely enough votes to linger on to a second ballot.

The shortstops in the Hall of Fame almost entirely on the basis of their defensive reputations - Tinker, Maranville, Aparicio, Ozzie - fit together chronologically so that they basically ALL have a potential claim as the all-time best. This is what's confusing to so many of us, I think, about Vizquel - setting aside WAR or OPS+ or MVP voting, he's just so obviously not the best defensive shortstop ever, because he's not as good as Ozzie. And, indeed, if you read the articles by some of the guys voting for him, they will often make the claim that he is, in fact, as good or better than Ozzie (e.g., he has the highest fielding percentage of any shortstop in MLB history).

Molina's case, then, I think is going to come down to whether he is seen as having been a very good defensive catcher a'la Jim Sundberg and Bob Boone or whether he is seen as having been the best defensive catcher ever - which is a large part of what got Rodriguez and Bench elected first-ballot (not that two-time MVP Johnny Bench needed a huge defensive boost anyway). My sense is that Molina's reputation is closer to the latter (and not unreasonably so; Molina has always been a really, really good defensive catcher), but I don't know how widespread that view will be among voters.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5607493)
Rolen has already surpassed the threshold for 5% and we don't even have half the votes counted. He won't be one and done.
   27. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 16, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5607520)
If Molina had put up the offensive production he did from 2011 to 2013 for a much longer spell, then combined with his defensive ability, he would be a Hall of Famer. At that point in time, he was clearly playing at the level of a HoF catcher. But it's just too short of a peak to make him a viable candidate. He has all of the narrative you could ask for, and I think he'll get a decent percentage of votes. But I doubt he'll get in, or that close to it.
   28. Booey Posted: January 16, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5607547)
Scott Rolen has as many GGs as Molina, has approximately the same dWAR, and is likely one-and-done for the HOF.


As others have pointed out, Rolen won't be one and done. In fact, I'm losing 20 bucks over that very subject next week. :-/

That said, I still don't think Rolen will work his way up the ladder much and ever threaten election (with the writers). I suspect he'll linger in the Kent/Sheffield/Mattingly/Murphy zone. It IS weird though how any of these voters could see a great glove/no bat candidate like Vizquel (and possibly Molina) as being more deserving than guys who excelled in both, like Rolen, Walker, Edmonds, Andruw, etc (I'm not even sold on A. Jones as a HOFer, but he's much closer than Vizquel or the current career of Molina).
   29. flournoy Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5607565)
Being the best defensive shortstop is also a lot more visually impressive than being the best defensive catcher. Catchers rarely have to move very far from where they squat. Which is more fun to watch, an Andrelton Simmons highlight reel, or a Yadier Molina highlight reel?
   30. Rally Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5607575)
I don't see him as a HOFer, but he has a reputation for handling a pitching staff well, and for pitch framing. These don't seem to show up in BBREF WAR.


Prospectus does. Molina is currently at 49 WARP on their site. I don't know how far back they are giving framing credit.

Some others:

Russell Martin 55
Joe Mauer 50
Simmons 52
Freehan 43
Munson 44
Posada 33
Posey 51

Posada's FRAA went from OK to brutal in 2004, so that's when they probably start adding in the framing.
   31. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5607577)
Which is more fun to watch, an Andrelton Simmons highlight reel, or a Yadier Molina highlight reel?


I think it can certainly be fun to see a catcher throw out a would-be basestealer or pick off a runner with a snap throw from behind the plate. And Molina was (is?) great at those sorts of plays. In terms of a stat-based argument, though, the problem is that those only get you so far, and to try to argue that Yadier's "true WAR" is really HOF-worthy, you have to argue that he's also great at framing pitches and calling games, and, yeah, those things don't exactly lend themselves to a highlight reel.
   32. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:51 PM (#5607590)
to try to argue that Yadier's "true WAR" is really HOF-worthy, you have to argue that he's also great at framing pitches and calling games, and, yeah, those things don't exactly lend themselves to a highlight reel.
Again, not just that he's great at those things, but that he's uniquely great - that what he does isn't being captured while everything the others do is.
   33. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 16, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5607600)
AFAIC, Molina is HOVG, barring something incredible happening in his final years. He's a poor man's Ivan Rodriguez, both offensively and defensively. He's not even borderline, IMHO.

   34. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 16, 2018 at 06:57 PM (#5607679)
Which is more fun to watch, an Andrelton Simmons highlight reel, or a Yadier Molina highlight reel?

Depends. How do you feel about mound visits?
   35. BDC Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:10 PM (#5607685)
It's time for my periodic open question about where pitch framing shows up in actual runs saved. Earlier attempts at figuring catcher ERA, WoWY, that sort of thing, never seemed to show any great effect of catcher defense, but framing data shows huge differences among them. Does that difference reliably show up in their teams' Runs Against totals? (I.e., is there some advance in analysis over the past couple of years that I've missed? There probably is.)
   36. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:40 PM (#5607703)
Can't wait for the Yadier Molina Hall of Fame discussions in December 2025 and January 2026 when he makes his ballot debut. I have a feeling he will be the next Omar Vizquel, somebody who falls short of Hall standards on JAWS but a large population feels strongly should be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Incidentally, Vizquel would be in his 9th year on the ballot if he hadn't been voted in already.


"obviously I'm biased".

I think Molina has a better argument than Vizquel, the intangibles for catcher is much more important than any other position. It's very possible that by the time Molina even becomes eligible, that we might accept an elite catcher is worth 1 war for pitch framing, and maybe even another 1 war for game calling, and we might even conclude that over Molina's 17 year career, while consistently leading the league in innings caught, that he was gathering about a 1.4 war or so that wasn't captured by the data of the time. That would not surprise me at all to be honest. And I do think that a few other catchers might end up entering the discussion from the past that we might have dismissed, but I think Molina could be the catalyst for that discussion, since he's going to end up playing during the time where the data is actually being gathered or at least the bridge during that time.



   37. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:41 PM (#5607704)
Wait!? Around here, just mention any star player over age 25 and you'll probably get a HOF discussion on your hands.


And that is a good thing. At least it's a discussion about baseball even if it's going to end up being mostly the same old arguments.
   38. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:51 PM (#5607707)
Which is more fun to watch, an Andrelton Simmons highlight reel, or a Yadier Molina highlight reel?


That is a tough question, watching Molina pick off guys at first and third is quite entertaining to be honest (and of course there are many other excellent plays that would make a nice highlight reel) (it was a HUGE deal in regards to the wbc) but at the same time an Ozzie (sorry but Simmons is no Ozzie on the highlight reel) Smith type of play is just a thing of athletic beauty. The thing about the catchers highlight defensive reel is that it would often require a narrative to set the scene, while an Ozzie highlight reel would just require you to watch. You probably don't laugh while watching a shortstop highlight reel, as you would watching a catchers highlight reel(you would be laughing at the stupidity of the runner from time to time) but you probably "gasp" fewer times watching a catchers highlight reel than a shortstop highlight reel.
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:58 PM (#5607710)
Prospectus does. Molina is currently at 49 WARP on their site. I don't know how far back they are giving framing credit.

Some others:

Russell Martin 55
Joe Mauer 50
Simmons 52
Freehan 43
Munson 44
Posada 33
Posey 51


I would put Simmons, Mauer and Posey probably in right now... Martin is an interesting case, he feels a bit like Tenace in that he's a pretty good overall player but is just missing "something"
   40. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2018 at 08:01 PM (#5607713)
Depends. How do you feel about mound visits?


Uggh... my biggest pet peeve of Molina is the number of mound visits. It's great that the pitchers never shake him off, so you don't get that prolonged signal /response type of crap you see from other teams, but then that positive is completely wiped out by the sheer number of mound visits. I mean he has to average a minimum of five per game, and that is being generous and assuming that my memory must be selective and over estimating the number of visits (in my mind he averages five per last three innings of the game)
   41. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 16, 2018 at 09:10 PM (#5607743)
I think an interesting comp to Molina is Russell Martin. Martin is a few months younger than Molina, and though his very best season isn't as good as Yadier's, he's got a few more mid-range seasons. Though they're both catchers, and both about the same size (a compact 5'10", 205 for Martin; a similarly compact 5'11" 205 for Molina), they've been very different players in many respects: Martin was known as a fast and agile young player, and there was a brief period where it looked like he might be following a sort of poor-man's Biggio career path, switching from C to 2B (the other short player's position); Molina has only ever played C and 1B in the bigs, and I don't think anybody ever suggested he was a strong candidate for any other position, despite his defensive reputation.

The thing is, what separates them is that Yadi has generally been a better hitter, rather than a better fielder, at least by the stats. If Yadi's case is that he's the best fielding C of his generation, then why doesn't Martin get consideration, too? Is it the diffuse nature of his peak? Is it the fact that he's played for four teams to Yadi's one? Is it that he's never won a title? Or is it, as I suspect, some combination of all three? Because, in a hypothetical, reserve-clause world where I get to pick one or the other, I'm not sure there's much difference between them.
   42. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2018 at 09:36 PM (#5607757)
Is it the fact that he's played for four teams to Yadi's one?


I think that is a factor. But I really think it's hard for people who are not a fan of Yadier to truly appreciate his presence on the field. I get that it's non-quantitifiable, but there isn't a player on the team, nor many in the league, who doesn't recognize the positive influence Molina has on the pitching staff for the Cardinals.

But even ignoring all of that, there is something to be said for a guy who is putting up 1100+ innings at catcher every year(except 2014). A few of us around here think that war underrates catchers (note: that isn't the best word, it accurately values them, but it underrates the value of an everyday catcher in regards to an "average" catcher, which includes the everyday catcher and the replacement catcher...it's complicated, but there is an argument to be made that catcher war is lower on a seasonal basis than it should be) And if that is the case, then a guy who is playing on average 20 more games a season than the next guy.... might not be getting proper credit on a war basis. (another note: this is a pretty complicated argument with a #### ton of nuance that can be argued from either side of the argument so it's not like it's a decided point, but to me, a guy who catches 10-20 games more a year than the next guy, probably deserves a little 'extra' credit, assuming you believe that catchers are under value by a metric like war)

And again, I fully admit I have a Yadier Molina bias (and I also admit, even with that bias, I doubt I would vote for him for the hof...at least right now,)
   43. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2018 at 09:51 PM (#5607761)

As others have pointed out, Rolen won't be one and done. In fact, I'm losing 20 bucks over that very subject next week. :-/

That said, I still don't think Rolen will work his way up the ladder much and ever threaten election (with the writers).


Though I was obviously confident he wasn't going one-and-done, I agreed that he didn't have a chance at election. I'm not so sure now. It's still unlikely, but his actual support right now (actual voters, partial voters and the guys who would vote for him if they had more spots) is closer to 20 percent than 10*. As the ballot thins, it's not impossible he could make a push.

* Granted, that will likely drop.

   44. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2018 at 10:47 PM (#5607778)
SoSH is already stretching it but the other thing Rolen has going for him is that votes/ballot is still quite high (contrary to my expectations). So as he notes, there are at least some folks with full ballots who will add him. But also maybe (maybe) this is a new BBWAA ethos -- if they're still putting down 7 names per ballot in a few years, he'll have to be drawing pretty serious support.

In that vein, I've been surprised at Walker's big jump. Apparently there were a lot of voters out there who had him >10th on their ballots and finally have room for him. At least I can't think of any other reason he'd be getting such a huge jump. (A jump, yes, in line with what a back-logger usually gets but he's looking at a 16% jump right now.)
   45. The Duke Posted: January 16, 2018 at 10:57 PM (#5607782)
I left off my list that he is a one team player. That is a rarity these days. I guess the cards could cut him loose in 2021 but it’s rather doubtful at this point that he ever plays for another team. The narrative of the guy who never leaves his team is I think a powerful one. It takes two to tango but sportswriters will look at this as player loyalty, not team loyalty and I think he will also get a few votes for that. It’s incredibly rare now for someone to play out their whole career in one place.

Look at the agonizing over Cutch being traded. No one wanted to see that. I would have been happy if he had stayed there forever. I can’t really picture him as a rental for one year, it seems odd to think of him as a giant

So, I think Molina will get some votes for that as well.
   46. Booey Posted: January 17, 2018 at 11:10 AM (#5607975)
It’s incredibly rare now for someone to play out their whole career in one place.


It's never been really commonplace, though. My gut reaction would be that it's less common than it used to be, but when you list all the (semi) recent one team HOF types, there's actually more than I would've guessed. Debuting 1980's or later: Cal Ripken Jr, Tony Gwynn, Kirby Puckett, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Todd Helton. Plus HOVG types like Don Mattingly, Bernie Williams, and Jorge Posada (man, the Yankees run circles around everyone when it comes to one team stars, don't they?).

It's certainly not common, but I don't know if I'd go as far as to say it's incredibly rare just yet. TBF though, there hasn't been a one team HOF starting pitcher since Jim Palmer. Smoltz came sooo close. Here's hoping Kershaw or Felix can break that trend (since Verlander is no longer in contention).
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5607983)
It's certainly not common, but I don't know if I'd go as far as to say it's incredibly rare just yet. TBF though, there hasn't been a one team HOF starting pitcher since Jim Palmer. Smoltz came sooo close. Here's hoping Kershaw or Felix can break that trend (since Verlander is no longer in contention).


It's always been very rare. FA has given players the opportunity to leave, but it also gave them a greater opportunity to stay. In the old days, the teams were disloyal enough for the both of them.

SoSH is already stretching it but the other thing Rolen has going for him is that votes/ballot is still quite high (contrary to my expectations). So as he notes, there are at least some folks with full ballots who will add him. But also maybe (maybe) this is a new BBWAA ethos -- if they're still putting down 7 names per ballot in a few years, he'll have to be drawing pretty serious support.


I still doubt he makes any kind of push, in part becuase, like you, I suspect the BBWAA will start to pull back on votes per ballot. It' just that his maiden level of true support through the first half of the voting is higher than I expected (and much higher than Booey did), and possibly at a level from which a legitimate push can be made.

   48. Rally Posted: January 17, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5607997)
Is it the fact that he's played for four teams to Yadi's one?


That could work in Martin's favor when you consider he's been the postseason for all 4, and the last two teams broke 20+ year playoff droughts with him.
   49. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: January 17, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5608060)
If you added all the Molina brothers together, you'd have a Hall of Famer.
   50. Booey Posted: January 17, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5608064)
One team players, 50+ WAR, debut by decade:

1900's (1) - Walter Johnson

1910's (1) - Red Faber

1920's (8) - Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Charlie Gehringer, Ted Lyons, Carl Hubbell, Bill Dickey, Bill Terry, Eddie Rommel

1930's (7) - Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Luke Appling, Bob Feller, Stan Hack, Bobby Doerr, Tommy Bridges

1940's (3) - Stan Musial, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson

1950's (8) - Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Al Kaline, Bob Gibson, Brooks Robinson, Ernie Banks, Don Drysdale, Whitey Ford

1960's (4) - Carl Yaztrzemski, Johnny Bench, Jim Palmer, Willie Stargell

1970's (5) - Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Robin Yount, Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell

1980's (6) - Cal Ripken Jr, Barry Larkin, Tony Gwynn, Edgar Martinez, Craig Biggio, Kirby Puckett

1990's (5) - Chipper Jones, Jeff Bagwell, Derek Jeter, Todd Helton, Mariano Rivera


As noted, it's always been rare, but it looks pretty consistent since the 60's at least. There are also currently 6 active one team players with 50+ WAR: Kershaw, Trout, Pedroia, Votto, Mauer, and Felix. Verlander was in that group until a few months ago, and Longoria until about a week ago.
   51. donlock Posted: January 17, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5608077)
Am I the only one who thinks it is not a certainty that he will play well for three more years and then retire to HOF discussions? Injuries and a career long workload would make me wonder if he will play full time for three more years. Someone should have a list of catchers who played regularly at age 35, 36 and 37 - at a high level.
   52. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: January 17, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5608116)
the Yankees run circles around everyone when it comes to one team stars, don't they?

What other team has historically been able to throw unlimited piles of cash at all of the homegrown players they want to keep?
   53. The Duke Posted: January 17, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5608343)
Well he has had both thumb ligaments cause him issues and appears to have concussion issues from time to time so either of those two things could sideline him but he came to camp a few years ago having lost a ton of weight and appears very agile. He isn’t a big guy like his brothers. Short of a big injury, I think he will catch 3 full years
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5608349)
What other team has historically been able to throw unlimited piles of cash at all of the homegrown players they want to keep?

Prior to 1975, every team could keep any home grown star they developed.

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