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Molina would be a wise investment for Cardinals

It's good news that the Cardinals seem to be making progress in negotiations to retain catcher Yadier Molina.

Although... there were initial reports two years ago that extension talks were going well with Albert Pujols before they completely fell apart and he, ultimately, left for bigger dollars elsewhere.

It would sure be nice if St. Louis fans didn't have to go through another season of hand wringing about the possibility of losing another of their favorite Cardinals. But signing Molina would also make a lot of sense for the Redbirds in that it would bring a lot of stability to a team in transition.

Not only are the Birds currently getting used to live without Pujols as well as former Manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan. But they're likely going to see a significant turnover in the pitching staff and starting line-up over the next two seasons.

Two of the Cardinals' five starting pitchers, Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook, will become free agents at the end of the year and seem likely to be replaced with youngsters. Chris Carpenter, who is entering a two-year contract extension in 2012, is likely to retire when that deal is up after all the miles he has put on his arm over the years.

In the starting eight, Lance Berkman could be a goner in 2013 if Allen Craig steps up and shows he's ready to take on a bigger role. He could also be deposed by first base prospect Matt Adams. Carlos Beltran is on a two year deal as is Rafael Furcal and second base seems to be ripe for a young guy, possibly Kolten Wong to take over.

So, in short, the Birds are going to need a veteran leadership presence they can count on to help take them beyond the next two years. And behind the plate is a pretty good place to invest some money.

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