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Wainwright, Cardinals extension a fair deal for all involved

Posted Thursday, March 28, 2013, at 8:30 AM

Months of speculation came to an end Thursday when it was announced the St. Louis Cardinals had re-signed RHP Adam Wainwright to an extension.

The deal is reported to be for five years at a total of $97.5 million.

Wainwright, now 31, will be signed through age 36 under the new extension which will begin in 2014. In his first season returning from Tommy John surgery, Wainwright went 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA.

He started the season off shaky, giving up five home runs in April but mellowed out as the season went on. He posted a 3.28 ERA in the second half (2.27 in September).

No, he wasn't perfect in 2012, but he was moving in the right direction. The better he looked in 2013, the higher the price tag would be in the offseason. The Cardinals knew that and so did Wainwright.

From the Cardinals perspective, getting the deal done now was the right move. Waiting until after the season could have cost the Cardinals as much as an additional $15 million over the course of the deal.

To a team that is literally getting younger by the year, the veteran presence Wainwright offers plays a huge role in their overall success.

He's respected, well-liked by his teammates and is a good influence to have around the clubhouse.

Aside from that, Wainwright's role as anchor to a youthful rotation will be more vital over the next three seasons than ever before. As young arms with bright futures begin learning the ropes, the Cardinals will need someone who can consistently eat innings and get wins. At the same time, he can teach those young guys what it takes to be a professional in this league with class, patience and perseverance.

Wainwright is that guy and the Cardinals know that.

The 6'7" tall right-hander, who still sports one of the nastiest curveballs in baseball, can consistently throw 200 innings per season with about 200 strikeouts. That's what the Cardinals want from him: consistency.

In the second half of 2012, Wainwright gave up fewer hits, runs, walks, doubles, triples and held opposing batters to a .240 average--some 35 points lower than in the first half.

Concerns regarding whether he would fully recover from his operation can, in my opinion, go by the wayside.

There's no doubt Wainwright could have drawn a bigger pay day had he gone to free agency, but with that come risks. First and foremost is the risk of an injury this year. The extra $10-12 million he could have earned simply isn't worth the risk of losing the $97 million he was offered.

There's also the risk of losing the security of home. Wainwright loves St. Louis and St. Louis loves him. It's a great baseball town.

Taking a mega-deal from somewhere like New York or Los Angeles doesn't offer that security.

He wanted St. Louis and they wanted him. The Cardinals get the leader and staff ace that they want to keep, and Wainwright gets to sign the largest deal ever offered to a pitcher by the organization.

With Wainwright locked up, the Cardinals are now able to build for the coming years without having the cloud of a massive deal in the near future hanging over their heads.

In the end, this deal makes sense for everyone involved.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Totally agree with what ya said! Had to lock him up now! Who knows what the Yanks would have offered him next year

-- Posted by Kobeyashi on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 8:43 AM

Agreed. With Carp done, and I mean I really want him to retire as a Card, had to lock up the Ace. He will be the cornerstone of the staff for this year plus five. He'll be a great mentor to the kids coming up as well.

-- Posted by Jolly Dump on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 12:14 PM

Great steal of a deal in my opinion. I figured he may have reached that Grenike money area and fortunately he did not. The team under its current construction should at about 95 million dollars in payroll next year and we will have figured what we have in our MIF and have the trade pieces and money available to fix it properly.

-- Posted by Bunk on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 12:25 PM

Yeah, with Carpenter and Beltran coming off the books that will helps us out a great deal. The only wasted next year will be Wiggington

-- Posted by Jolly Dump on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 12:53 PM

This is a great deal. Waino is the ace of the staff and one of best starters in the NL. Besides the on-field production he also provides an example of what it means to be a professional. He will be able to mentor our young pitchers as they grow and develop. I like what the organization has done to lock up the core players for the next several years.

-- Posted by Storm#8 on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 1:36 PM

Why should Beltran come off the books if he has a good year Jolly?

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 2:09 PM

Dustin.. your opinions I disagree with a lot, but I thought you had a good understanding of baseball.. Why would we want to pay Beltran next which would take 9-15 million depending on the year he has when we already have Holliday under contract, Jay under contract, Tavares knocking on the door, and a guy in Allen Craig who can easily play corner outfield spots to let Adams get some at bats in.. So that's 3 bonafied starting outfielders and a really good first baseman that can spell our outfielders.. So pay Beltran to ride the bench at let's say 12 million a year or go sign some veteran to a 1 year 2 million dollar deal to be our fourth outfielder? you decide.. it's not difficult.

And off the books means his contract expires at the end of this year.

-- Posted by Thot McGee on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 2:24 PM

Dustin would pay $100Mill for a 50-year-old than pay $4Mill to a 25 year-old. His baseball IQ has disappeared this season.

-- Posted by Jolly Dump on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 2:31 PM

If Beltran has another season like he had last year I don't want to let him go after this year.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 3:06 PM


I agree the Cardinals have too many hitters.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 3:07 PM

Jolly Dump

I think if the Cardinals are out of the race at the trade deadline they might move Beltran and Westbrook for prospects.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 3:11 PM

They won't be out of race by the deadline DW that is preposterous with the 5th playoff spot. Also Beltran is not gonna get a ton more in money from us if he wants to come back here next year. Have you ever heard of Oscar Taveras?

-- Posted by Bunk on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 3:28 PM

The fifth playoff spot makes it tough to be out of the race.

What do you think their record will be at the trade deadline Bunk? Above or below .500?

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 3:36 PM

Look up my response to that question Dusty I'm done repeating myself

-- Posted by Bunk on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 3:42 PM

I am more than happy letting a 37 year old Beltran walk. Because we have Oscar Tavarez. He will do more than enough to make up for Beltran. Get over your fascination with older players.

-- Posted by Jolly Dump on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 5:35 PM

Glad this deal got done. Wainwright is my favorite Cardinal and is just a bulldog who is a winner.

-- Posted by paulm on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 6:40 PM

Should have Carpenter, Beltran and Westbrook coming off the books at the end of the season. Gotta make room for the young arms coming up and taveras. Cards are in a pretty good spot. Just need those guys to continue to develop this year.

-- Posted by Kidrayray on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 7:45 AM

DW in today's game without as many PED you have to stay young. I.E. Boston and Yankee model vs the Tampa Bay model.

Beltran had a great year last year, but he really just had an amazing 1st half, and began to slip second half. I know because I had him on my fantasy team! Haha!

But with his age and the prospects we have it is really hard to justify paying him when we have cheaper, possibly better options, and means we will have more money to fill other holes.

I could see however if the cards have a year like 2 years ago with Berkman, and them doing the classy thing and giving him a one year option.

-- Posted by Kobeyashi on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 10:28 AM

I think if he wins WS ring than he retires. His wheels are just worn out at this point. You saw it by the time the end of June last year

-- Posted by Bunk on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 10:52 AM

True Bunk. Completely agree, but I thought the same from Berkman too.

-- Posted by Kobeyashi on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 12:01 PM


I don't think he will win a World Series ring this year.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 1:25 PM

You never know that's just your opinion. By the way you do know that 29 MLB teams don't win a World Series every year right? All I'm saying is that picking the field to win over the Cardinals is an easy call to make.

-- Posted by Bunk on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 1:40 PM

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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