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Yadier Molina's Impact: How His Return Will Shape the Cardinals' Future

Updated: Feb 18

Yadier Molina via USA Today

We have heard for weeks now that The Cardinals and Yadier Molina were working on a deal to bring the future Hall of Famer back to St Louis in some capacity.

John Mozeliak by Dillip Vishwanant via Getty Images

That happened at the winter meetings when the Cardinals announced that the long-time backstop and Icon of the Cardinals would be rejoining the club for 2024 as a special assistant to the President of Baseball Operations. After making the announcement, John Mozeliak had this to say. “He will provide invaluable help at the major league level, as well as spend time with our minor league teams in his new role with the team.”

Molina will not be taking a full-time in-the-dugout coach position, as many fans were hoping he would. He will be with the team on the field from time to time, as well as at Spring Training and working with the Cardinal minor league teams.

Oliver Marmol by Jeffery Dean of MLB via Getty Images

Reports say that Molina accepted part-time for family reasons. I think that Yadi is being cautious as to how this arrangement will work and also not casting any speculation on the fate of Oliver Marmol. Many fans have already been subscribing to the idea that Molina will be the manager in 2025 after Marmol's contract expires at the end of 2024. Or that he would take over IF Marmol is fired.

As far as the Cardinals club is concerned, Molina will be working with Wilson Contreras and Ivan Herrera and pitching coach Dusty Blake during Spring Training. He will also likely be stalking the back diamonds at Jupiter, looking at all the young prospects. As for during the season, he will more than likely be taking a tour of the minor league affiliates to check on the progress of prospects.

One question does pop up in my mind: How much effect will Yadi's input have on John Mozeliak and the rest of the front office? I don't see Yadi as the yes-man type unlike Michael Grisch and manager Oliver Marmol. So, how will his personality and attitude work with Mozelaik and Girsch? If his opinion is not heeded, will he stay with the organization? Much remains to be seen.

So what happens after this year?

So, here becomes the 64,000 question: after 2024, what does the future hold?

Marmol's contract is up at the end of the year, and even though Mo & company pledged their support for the manager last year, there seems to be no hurry to extend his stay as the manager.

Also, Joe McEwing is out as bench coach, and former Cardinal Daniel Descalso is Ollie's new second-in-command.

In the future, If Marmol is removed as manager, do they turn to Yadi as they did Mike Matheny in 2012? Do they promote Stubby Clapp or Pop Warner, bring Yadi in as a base coach or Bench Coach, and move Descalso?

If they retain Marmol and the pitching is still suspect, do they make Yadi the pitching coach?

It has been said that Yadi wants his chance to manage. Could the Cardinals put him in charge of a minor-league team?

There will be times that Molina will be in the Dugout for St Louis. Much like Chris Carpenter, Jason Isringhausen, and Matt Holliday have been from time to time. Yadi, however, has the title of Special Assistant, which means something different in fans' minds. Also, one has to wonder what effect it will have on Marmol. Again, with seemingly no extension in sight and knowing this is probably make-or-break season for him. When Molina is in the dugout, will Ollie subconsciously look over his shoulder and wonder? With a veteran pitching staff, does Molina become a bridge between them and young pitching coach Dusty Blake?

Of course, there are a hundred different scenarios that fans will come up with. In the vast majority of them, Marmol comes up as the loser. If the team does well, fans will tout the "Molina influence." If they don't do well, the masses will hear a hewn cry to fire Marmol and make Molina the manager. If the defense returns to its usual level, fans will credit Yadi. If the defense is like last year, fans will say Molina wasn't involved enough! So, if I were Oliver Marmol, I would update my resume just in case.

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment here, email me at, or hit me up on X @tsotbgcs.

Also, check out my podcast Talking Sports on the Bleachers on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, and just about anywhere you get a podcast.

See ya next time!

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