Welcome to The Stew’s Spring Headlines, our daily look at the biggest MLB stories and news items from around spring training. Here you’ll find a quick recap of all the day’s action and other fun stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.
DEADLINE: Talks concerning a potential contract extension for Yadier Molina were pushed into the background at Cardinals camp while he was away at the World Baseball Classic. Now they’re front and center again after the eight-time Gold Glove award winner gave the team a pretty clear ultimatum.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Molina told the media on Saturday that he does not want contract negotiations to spill into the regular season. That gives the Cardinals roughly one week to reach an agreement. The Cardinals open up their season on Sunday, April 2, when they host the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs.
But wait, there’s more to this story.
Molina added another level of intrigue and perhaps anxiety for Cardinals fans by mentioning he’s “not afraid” to test free agency should it come to that.
“I would love to. I would love to stay, but at the same time I’m not afraid to go to free agency. I’ve still got many years in the tank. Believe me. I feel great. I feel like a 20-year-old kid. I’m not afraid to go to free agency.”
“Hopefully,” Molina said. “Hopefully we can get it done before the opening starts. After the opening, I don’t know what’s going to happen. We’ve got one more week to talk about it. And then after that I’m going to concentrate on my game. Whatever they want to do. Like I’ve said: I want to stay here. But if they don’t want to spend money I understand that, too. This is a business. I’m going to try and concentrate on myself.”
Most of the time these comments are all about jockeying for position in negotiations. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak knows the drill, which is he why he preached patience when discussing an extension for Molina previously. Still, for the sake of a healthy relationship between player and team, and for the sake of anxious fans, perhaps there will be some urgency shown this week. Stay tuned to this one, folks. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
TIMELINE: The Red Sox have yet to lay out a firm timeline for David Price’s return, but recent developments suggest he’ll miss the entire month of April. [ESPN]
LOCKED IN: The Rangers have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $49.5M contract extension with second baseman Rougned Odor. [The Stew]
ON HOLD: In other Rangers extension news, talks with veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy have been tabled for the time being. It isn’t known whether the two sides will re-open talks prior to opening day or during the regular season. [@JeffWilson_FWTS]
SECOND OPINION: White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon received encouraging news on Saturday when an MRI on his sore left biceps came back clean. Just to be sure though, he’ll have a second opinion on Monday before getting into preparation for the regular season. [Chicago Sun Times]
MLB PREVIEW: Can the Giants get back in the championship picture? [The Stew]
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