MLB notebook: Cardinals C Molina to retire after 2020 season

Reuters

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said he plans to play out the three years remaining on his contract and retire from baseball at the end of the 2020 season.

"Three more years, that's it," Molina said at the Cardinals' Winter Warmup Fanfest.

Molina, who evolved into the face of the St. Louis franchise as a defensive pillar and All-Star, signed a three-year extension worth $20 million per season last March. Molina, 35, previously said it would be his final contract.

The eight-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner is working closely with his heir apparent, Carson Kelly, and is expected to gradually shift to a shared or platoon role. Molina is entering his 15th season with the Cardinals. He will be 38 when his current contract ends.

--Former American League MVP Justin Morneau will make his retirement official during a news conference with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on Wednesday and join the team's front office as a special assistant.

Morneau spent 11 of his 14 MLB seasons with the Twins, where his big league career began in 2003. He won the MVP in 2006 and was a four-time All-Star as a member of the team from 2007-10. In his career, Morneau hit .281/.348/.481 with 247 home runs and 985 RBIs. He hit .321 with 34 homers and 130 RBIs during his 2006 MVP campaign.

Following his time with the Twins, Morneau found success with the Colorado Rockies, with whom he won the National League batting title in 2014. He also spent a short stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013 and Chicago White Sox in 2016, the last MLB team he played for.

--Kansas City Royals ace Danny Duffy has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in a Kansas City suburb and has been placed on one-year probation.

Duffy entered the plea last week and will pay $1,220 in fines and court fees, said Sean Reilly, a spokesman for the city of Overland Park, Kan. Duffy must report to a probation officer once a month, abstain from using drugs and alcohol and will be subject to random breath, urine or blood screenings.

Duffy was cited for a DUI in Overload Park in late August after returning to Kansas City to undergo an MRI on his pitching elbow while the team was in Cleveland facing the Indians. The left-hander was the Royals' Opening Day starter last season and went 9-10 with a 3.81 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 146.1 innings.

--Pittsburgh Pirates utility man Josh Harrison said he would rather be traded than play for a rebuilding team in the wake of the Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen trades.

"While I love this game, the reality is that I just lost two of my closest friends in the game," Harrison said in a statement to The Athletic. "Cole and Cutch were not just friends, they were the best pitcher and best position player on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now, I am the most tenured member of the Pirates, I want to win, I want to contend, I want to win championships in 2018, 2019 and beyond. ... If indeed the team does not expect to contend this year or next, perhaps it would be better for all involved, that I also am traded. I want what is best for the organization that gave me a chance to be a Big Leaguer."

Harrison, 30, is due $10.25 million in the final guaranteed season of a four-year extension he signed in 2015. A two-time All-Star, including last season, Harrison hit .272/.339/.432 with 16 home runs, 47 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 128 games for the Pirates in 2017.

--The New York Yankees and left-hander Wade LeBlanc agreed to a minor league contract.

The deal calls for LeBlanc to receive an invitation to spring training. If LeBlanc is added to the 40-man roster, he will receive a one-year, $1 million contract.

The 33-year-old LeBlanc was 5-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 50 relief appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Pittsburgh declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.

--Field Level Media

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