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Longtime St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will retire at the conclusion of the season, marking the end of a storied 19-year career. Molina won't be absent from a dugout for long, however, as Puerto Rico's baseball federation announced on Thursday that Molina will manage their team in next spring's World Baseball Classic.

Molina, 40 years old, is a 10-time All-Star and an eight-time Gold Glove Award recipient who has garnered a reputation for his feel for the game over the years. (He's received credit for assisting with the Cardinals' defensive positioning.) Molina making a quick transition to managing or coaching shouldn't come as a surprise -- in fact, he had a different gig lined up prior to the start of this season.

Back in spring training, Molina announced that he would serve as the skipper for Navegantes del Magallanes of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, a winter ball team that won the championship last year. 

"I am finishing my career as a player," Molina said at the time, according to Bally Sports. "I have many friends in Venezuela, I know the level of their players and the competition in the league, they love baseball there. That motivated me, in addition to being manager of Magallanes, a historic team."

It should be noted that Molina's appointment as Puerto Rico's manager does come with some controversy. El Nuevo Dia reported earlier this month that Puerto Rico's general manager, former big leaguer Eduardo Pérez, resigned from his position after Molina was chosen as the club's manager. (Pérez wanted to hire Joe Espada, the current bench coach of the Houston Astros.)

The 2023 World Baseball Classic is scheduled to begin on March 8. This will be the first time the event has been held since 2017 on account of the COVID-19 global pandemic.