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Adam Wainwright’s “modest goal” is to be on the Cardinals’ playoff roster

Jun 28, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

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Expecting to miss the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery during spring training, Adam Wainwright has progressed far enough in his recovery that the Cardinals right-hander is now hoping to pitch in 2011.

“My modest goal is try to talk them into letting me play on the playoff roster in October,” Wainwright told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, although he realistically pegged the chances of that happening as “probably bad.”

Tommy John surgery typically comes with a recovery timetable of 12-18 months, meaning Wainwright is no sure thing to be fully healthy by Opening Day of next season, let alone this October.

Of course, as Hummel points out one reason for Wainwright wanting to make such a speedy comeback is that his $9 million option for 2012 and $13 million option for 2013 would vest if he’s on the active roster at the end of this season. In other words, it ain’t happening.

  1. Jonny 5 - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Wow, they made the playoffs this season? I figured they finish up 2011 without a WC spot even..

  2. spudchukar - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Aaron, I listened to Wainwright explain his position to the Cards announcers when he was asked about the Hummel article, when he visited the broadcast booth shortly after printing. He emphasized, that the “goal” was a psychological ploy to help him recover. He also said he knows it is unrealistic, which you pointed out, but your position that the Cards wouldn’t allow his return to occur due to the options is off base. Regardless of his return date he is a bargain at $9 mil, then $13 mil, and the Red Birds are not going to let him walk. Renegotiation, and a longer term deal might be in the offing, but if Wainwright somehow makes a miraculous recovery and the Cards manage to make post season and need Waino, the contract options would not be an impediment.

    • CJ - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:22 PM

      In all reality, Hummel has a fair point in questioning Waitwright’s motivation for an early comeback. However, he was a heck of a pitcher prior to the injury and, IF he can come back healthy those options are actually very reasonable for a player of his caliber.

      IMHO, if he’s worried about getting paid, he should sit out the year. No one would question him for it given the current timeline, and the Cards would be foolish to let him go for $9 mil and they could renegotiate a long term deal during the season. Coming back early and risking further injury could cost him dearly on his next contract.

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