Yadier Molina Looking At Cardinals Return

All it took was one season without the legendary Yadier Molina as part of the team for the St. Louis Cardinals to fall to pieces, recording their worst season since 2003 — the year before Molina came on board.

Now, although he's retired as a player after 19 seasons, the Cardinals need to get their heart and soul back, in any role they can. And that seems to be the plan.

The future Hall of Famer confirmed that he's been in conversation with his former team about the possibility of joining the coaching staff full-time for the 2024 season.

"I had the opportunity, when I went a few weeks ago to Adam Wainwright's (farewell for his retirement), to sit with (Cards management) and several points were discussed," Molina said, per Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat.

"We hope that if something happens, it will happen soon and if not, I would still be willing to continue helping them when they need me while I am here in Puerto Rico. They have the knowledge of my willingness."

A couple of sources said his "willingness" in joining the coaching staff would be as a bench coach, a position currently filled by Joe McEwing. 

Ironically, McEwing took the job last January after another former Cardinals great, Matt Holliday, who had been hired for the role, abruptly resigned just a month before spring training. It would be an omen of bad things to come for the Cards in 2023, as they finished 71-91, last place in the NL Central Division for the first time in 20 years. 

Molina debuted in 2004, and was named to 10 All-Star teams, and won nine Gold Gloves, in his legendary 19-year career in the Gateway to the West.

It should be an interesting new year in St. Louis, whether they ring in the new... or the old. 

Photo: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports