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UPDATE: Cards put Molina on DL, explore options at catcher
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UPDATE: Cards put Molina on DL, explore options at catcher

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Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, June 3, 2013, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

3:10 p.m. UPDATE: The Cardinals reached the non-waiver trade deadline without making a move for a catcher. The Cardinals and Cubs spoke but were unable to come to an agreement. The Cardinals, Pirates, and Reds did not make moves at the deadline.

2:15 p.m. UPDATE: The Cardinals have discussed Dioner Navarro, one of the targets mentioned this morning at The Post-Dispatch, with the Cubs, who expected to hear from the Cardinals once the team had a clearer sense of Yadier Molina's injury. This would not be a trade the Cardinals would be reluctant to make because it's within the division. Navarro is signed through the end of the season only. The Cubs are willing to move him, but the question is the return they would demand at this point with less than a hour to go before the deadline.

1 p.m. UPDATE: The Cardinals have made the move official by placing Yadier Molina on the 15-day disabled list. They have also put Shane Robinson on the 15-day DL with a previously undisclosed right shoulder strain. The club promoted Adron Chambers and Brock Peterson from Class AAA Memphis to take the open spots on the active roster. They will be in Pittsburgh for tonight's game. Tyler Lyons was optioned to Class AAA Memphis as the team's 26th man from Tuesday's doubleheader.

From earlier ...

 

PITTSBURGH • Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina returned to St. Louis this morning to have the severity of his lingering and intensifying knee injury determined by a team physician.

He will go on the disabled list today and miss at least 15 games.

Molina said that the knee is going to "need time" to recover, and the club has not hid its concern that the starting catcher and MVP-caliber cornerstone could miss a significant stretch in order to heal what has become a nagging pain for the Gold Glove catcher.

With the the trade deadline approaching this afternoon at 3 p.m. St. Louis time, the Cardinals are gauging their options and how they can proceed once they know the length of time Molina will miss.

General manager John Mozeliak said that the team's approach in the wake of Molina's diagnosis was "TBD."

The team has Tony Cruz and Rob Johnson already on the active roster.

The Cardinals have carried three catchers for most of this month because of Molina's knee troubles. And still Molina started 19 of the team's 24 games this month, including the first 10 consecutive games coming out of the All-Star break. The Cardinals originally diagnosed the injury as inflammation in his right knee, but the team acknowledged at that point that it was a usage issue -- and that they need to calm the usage to calm the knee.

The market for catchers is not clear. The Cardinals have spent the past few weeks exploring deals for starting pitchers and relievers, while also keeping some tabs on available shortstops.

Phillies backstop Carlos Ruiz has been the subject of trade reports throughout the past month and again as Philadelphia relented to being a seller in the past week. He's a pending free agent. So too is Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro, and the Cubs have been willing to listen on any player that could return a prospect.

Navarro, 29, has hit .294 with a .370 on-base percentage and a .510 slugging percentage in 57 games for the Cubs, who have a young catcher they've been grooming for the role.

Washington catcher Kurt Suzuki is also a free agent at the end of the season. Oakland is covering his salary this season.

As far as beyond the trade market, Miguel Olivo is a free agent after walking away from the Marlins.

Olivo left the team after batting practice and earlier this month, while the Marlins were in St. Louis, was granted his free agency. The 35-year-old catcher was hitting .203 with a .250 on-base percentage this season. He's a couple years removed from his turn as an everyday catcher for Seattle and Colorado.

Check back here as the story continues to evolve throughout the day.

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