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Cardinals sign Molina to five-year extension

St. Louis Cardinals' Molina throws his bat after drawing a walk with the bases loaded against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning in G
St. Louis Cardinals' Molina throws his bat after drawing a walk with the bases loaded against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning in G

(Reuters) - The World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals and All-Star catcher Yadier Molina agreed on a five-year contract extension, the Major League Baseball team said on Thursday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but St. Louis media reports said the extension is worth $75 million, making the four-time Gold Glove winner the second highest paid catcher in the major leagues behind Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer.

"Yadier possesses game-changing ability both in the field and at the plate," Cardinals' General Manager John Mozeliak, who made the announcement at the team's spring training headquarters in Jupiter, Florida, said in a statement.

"From his dramatic homer in the 2006 NLCS, to his handling of pitchers and controlling the opponent's running game, Yadier has proven to be a special talent when it comes to the all-important challenges of the catcher position."

Molina led the Cardinals with a .305 batting average last season while slamming a career-high 14 home runs and 65 RBI.

Drafted by the Cardinals in 2000, Molina has spent his entire eight-year major league career in St. Louis hitting 55 home runs and driving in 390 runs in 944 games.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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