The St. Louis Cardinals 2011 season will always be known just as much for change as it was for winning. Because for as much came in, arguably just as much left. From Albert Pujols to Dave Duncan and Tony LaRussa, departures changed the identity of the team rapidly. Coming into a new year, there is yet another familiar element that is casting a cloud of suspicion over the club already, perhaps justifiably so.
Does this scenario sound familiar? “All-Star benchmark cuts off contract negotiations as the spring gets under way”. It should, because for the second year in a row, off field negotiations have become the biggest story of the first week of Spring Training. Last spring, Pujols’ lack of a contract was the dominant topic right now. This year the situation has returned, with Yadier Molina being due a new deal.
However, that’s where the similarities stop, and in a strange way, the urgency gets much higher. So let me get this out the way early, so that it’s clear:
Yadier Molina is the most important and irreplaceable player on the team. And this isn’t a new development.
For more on exactly what it could take to land Yadi & what could to the down spin if they can’t connect on a deal, head over to St. Louis Sports 360 here: http://stlouissports360.com/spring-12-in-12-part-2-the-irreplaceable-yadi/
For everything else revolving around the Cardinals and their march back to Watch the Throne, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan.