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Cardinals exercise 2012, 2013 options on Adam Wainwright

Oct 27, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

Adam Wainwright

General manager John Mozeliak said last month that the Cardinals planned to exercise their 2012 and 2013 options on rehabbing right-hander Adam Wainwright and now they’ve made things official.

Wainwright, who missed the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery during spring training, will earn $9 million in 2012 and $12 million in 2013. That total commitment of two years and $21 million is the exact same amount rotation-mate Chris Carpenter agreed to last month as a contract extension.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch “the club expects Wainwright to have a normal offseason and be cleared for full workouts come next spring training.”

Goold reports that Wainwright recently had to stop throwing for a week when going at close to full strength disrupted some painful scar tissue, but he’s resumed playing catch. Making a $21 million commitment to someone who hasn’t pitched since 2010 is obviously a big risk, but before the surgery Wainwright ranked among the truly elite starters in baseball and even with Albert Pujols‘ status up in the air the Cardinals will clearly remain in win-now mode for next season.

  1. salvomania - Oct 27, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    If the Cardinals had a healthy Wainwright this year the World Series would already be over.

    • okwhitefalcon - Oct 27, 2011 at 10:55 AM

      It would have been cool to have Wainwright along for this unexpected run for sure, I’d feel alot more confident with him looming as tonights starter or Game 7 starter if the Cards are able to extend the series this evening.

      Waino’s competes the same way Carpenter does – less the F bombing A hole calling…

    • texasdawg - Oct 27, 2011 at 10:57 AM

      Yeah, because that’s exactly how small sample size playoff series work.

      • salvomania - Oct 27, 2011 at 11:26 AM

        Dawg, you’re right—you never know (look at the Phillies). Still, I’d like the Cardinals chances a lot more with their best pitcher (and one of the majors’ best)—rather than an Edwin Jackson or a Kyle Lohse—making two starts in a short series.

        Wainwright is a better pitcher than any other pitcher on either team.

    • dmccarrie - Oct 27, 2011 at 11:22 AM

      Ask the Phillies how the whole Multiple Aces thing worked out for them in a playoff series before making bold statements like this.

      Cliff Lee doesn’t lose when he has a 4 run lead….except he did. Point being, nothing is guaranteed in baseball.

      That’s what makes it great.

  2. natstowngreg - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    It’s not just about playoff rotation. With Wainwright, the Cards probably wouldn’t have had to come from so far behind to make the playoffs.

    Given how well pitchers can recover from TJS, and Wainwright’s ability, and the starting pitching market in general, $9 million doesn’t seem that unreasonable.

    • Kyle - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      Agree, the only risk here seems to be more injury. Earning the money with performance should be pretty simple for Wainwright.

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