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Adam Wainwright optimistic about extension talks

Jan 20, 2013, 12:53 PM EDT

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Adam Wainwright is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2013 season. But it doesn’t sound like he’s going to catch a whiff of the open market.

According to B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest, the right-hander said Saturday at the Cardinals’ annual Winter Warm-Up that he and his agent discussed the parameters of a long-term contract extension last summer with the St. Louis front office and that he felt good about the course of the conversation. “I liked where it was headed,” Wainwright told reporters.

The two sides are expected to get serious about negotiations when camp opens in Jupiter, Florida.

Wainwright, 31, owns a spectacular 3.15 ERA and 1.21 WHIP through his first seven major league seasons. He signed a very team-friendly deal before hitting arbitration so he’s probably going to want to cash in now.

Matt Cain‘s five-year, $112.5 million pact with the Giants can serve as a kind of blueprint. The Cardinals should have enough room in their budget to accommodate that — a benefit of letting Albert Pujols walk.

  1. youjivinmeturkey - Jan 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    I’d Love To See Waino Stick Around StL For A Very Long Time, Fo SHO! :)

  2. mazblast - Jan 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Everyone seems to be very amicable in these negotiations. That’s great to see and not all that common.

  3. okwhitefalcon - Jan 20, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    It’ll be interesting to see how quickly this plays out, the sooner the better it would seem.

    A couple of other notes from the Winter Warm up.

    Mo said 2nd base is Descalso’s to lose going into spring, same with Lance Lynn as 5th starter.

    Another interesting aside, Shelby Miller and the club definitely seem to be on the same page as far as his off season conditioning program. He’s up to 223 and looks/sounds like a guy who’s ready to step up when needed – and I think we all agree he’ll be needed sooner than later.

    Trevor Rosenthal spent the off season in STL working out and learning from his “mentor” Chris Carpenter – the kid is all biz and ready to roll.

    • paperlions - Jan 20, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      I am almost rooting for Westbrook and Garcia to struggle just to see what Miller and Rosy can do. To be clear, I do NOT wish injury or hardship on anyone, and would much prefer it if Miller and Rosenthal would just be so phenomenal in ST that the club had no choice but to put them in the rotation and find something else to do with Garcia and Westbrook….I would just prefer to see what the power arms can do instead of an aging control pitcher and a guy who can be thrown off his game if he has bad room service.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jan 20, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        I think we’re going to see both of them in the rotation at some point this season, whomever spots their stepping into.

        As I said in a prior post, I have serious concerns about 4 of the five slotted to go into spring straining as starters and the kids are going to get their chance,

        Let’s hope they take full advantage of their opportunities and contribute positively, it’s all there for the taking.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jan 20, 2013 at 5:19 PM

        Here’s some quotes from Miller with video as well – very impressive.

        ST. LOUIS • Even a year later, pitching prospect Shelby Miller wonders what he “was thinking” when he went on a workout and eating regimen that melted weight off his frame and concerned the Cardinals.

        Miller, who will compete for the fifth spot in the rotation this spring, said he came into spring training last year at 204 pounds.

        The Cardinals publicly wondered why he had dropped so much weight.

        “I was trying to be a beach bod,” Miller said this morning at the 17th annual Winter Warm-Up. “I don’t know why.”

        He later added that the beach bod isn’t made for starting.

        Miller said some of his early-season struggles at Class AAA Memphis could be traced back to a lack of strength that he brought into the season. He described his spring training performance as “awful.”

  4. Carl Hancock - Jan 20, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Wainwright is an important piece in the cog. With Carpenter nearing the end the Cards need a veteran leader in the rotation to mentor and lead the many young arms the Cardinals have on the horizon… they’re loaded with talent. Wainwright can anchor the rotation and teach the new kids the Cardinal way.

  5. gibbyfan - Jan 20, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Like any card fan would love to see them keep Waino but if it comes to 20+ Million/year which would seem to be the market, it might make sense to look for a trade. Their TV contract is so abysmal and from what I read during the AP negotiations they just cant afford it –What they dont have in $$ they are going to have to make up for with being better and smarter than their competitors.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jan 20, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      They can afford Waino at 20 per just fine, the years will be the point of concern if it gets to a stumbling block.

      Another note from the Winter Warm Up from Dewitt (very encouraging) was that they are fully prepared to move payroll above $115 million and they realize it’s headed that way with built in increases to a number of players as they head arbitration raises.

      The Cards aren’t some poor middling franchise that is on a shoestring budget and struggle to compete due to finances, they are an organization that ran upwards of $80 million dollars in the black in 2011 according to Forbes.

      They recognize they’re not in the position to get as silly as the Dodgers and Angels but they are in a position to maintain core players and make sizeable profits as long as they stay perennial contenders.

      • gibbyfan - Jan 20, 2013 at 10:44 PM

        I would like to think you are right falcon but I read the article on here about their TV contract being near the bottom (they were in the category of ‘have nots’) and from what I read in the press the signing of AP at 25/year would have severely affected any future moves so not sure if they can afford Waino unless he settles for less than market —I believe there are least 10 teams with a higher payroll than the cards which as you say doesnt make them poor but they are far behind dodgers/angels/yanks/Sox/tigers/rangers and others. Would like for you to be correct but not sure at this point.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jan 20, 2013 at 11:35 PM

        The Cards final offer to AP was $210 million – they can afford Waino just fine.

        The Cards TV deal does suck but it’s done in 2017 with the possibilty of an extension/renegotiation before that, time will tell as always.

        Make no mistake, Dewitt is in the business of making money – the Cards aren’t a win at all costs and break even proposition for him and it shouldn’t be.

        They’re big business with a big business model, they’re not Mom ‘n Pop just trying to make ends meet.

      • paperlions - Jan 21, 2013 at 9:11 AM

        Yeah, if they do something in the neighborhood of $100M/5 yrs, I think they’ll be fine. They have a LOT of cheap young pitching coming up that can offset the money going to Wainwright until the new TV deal is done.

  6. spudchukar - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Let us not forget Kelly. He is still developing, but his power sinker is nasty, and he showed the ability to get out of jams, and was steady in almost all of his starts. If he can improve his command he might be the #5 guy.

    Lynn, has shown that he can be an awfully effective reliever, and with all the starting options I would like to see him used there until Carpenter or Westbrook moves on. Garcia is the enigma. It would be great for the Cards to have a lefty in the rotation, but he has to adjust. He is stubborn, and unless he learns to make quality pitches when he is ahead in the count, rather than running up his pitch count he may be the odd man out.

    Westbrook has one more year and then adios, hopefully it is a good one, cause I do not see him succeeding coming out of the pen.

    Miller should probably start in AAA, as Rosenthal has passed him in development. But if all are healthy a rotation of Carpenter, Wainwright, Westbrook, Garcia, and Kelly, with Rosy and Lynn ready to step in if anybody falters.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jan 21, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      Lynn’s ahead of Rosy/Kelly/Miller going into spring says Mo, the 5th starter spot is his to lose so it sounds.

      This is just my opinion but I think Miller may step up and take the 5th starter spot in spring – the kid looks and sounds like he’s on a mission, a bit of a chip on his shoulder attitude and ready to go wherever they put him.

      Regardless of how it shakes out, they have options – a helluva luxury to have.

      • gibbyfan - Jan 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        I guess there was no way to know Lohse would have problems being signed but sure wish Cards would have kept him instead of Jake.
        Also–Just my opinion but I sure wish we had kept Walt Jockerty –Nothing against mo, but he was special–look at how he has managed things with the Reds –kept the superstar Votto and yet went out an got Chapman and kept the team intact –Somehow I think he may have fond a way to keep AP but I guess we will never know. I agree that he wasnt really worth the $$ by stats and age alone but he was so special to the City.
        All things considered, as much as I like Waino, before paying him 20M i would try to trade him to a team like Texas with big $$ and a deep farm

      • spudchukar - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        I happen to believe that Rosenthal is better. He has greater velocity, much better command, and a more impressive record. Agreed it is great to having both the discussion and the dilemma.

      • paperlions - Jan 21, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        If the Cardinals kept Jocketty, none of the current system would be in place. None of it. I don’t know if the team would have been better or worse….but it would have been different. So far, Jocketty has mostly gotten by on the excellent work done by the previous regime in Cinci who had built up a heck of a talent base. Now most of that has graduate or been traded. We’ll see how well the Reds can keep things together as their players start to get expensive.

  7. chefartstl - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Wainwright is the rock onto which the new Cardinal rotation will evolve. His signing is vital at least in the short-term. Right now he is the best starter the team has, and an inning-eating monster.

    Carpenter might not finish the season, though I hope I am wrong. Either way, he is deserving of a place in management on some level. Westbrook is trade-bait. Garcia might find himself in the same place unless he finds a way to keep his head in the game and turn in a 15-20 win season. He is simply unreliable.

    By season’s end, Waino will emerge as the #1 that we all know he can be. This rotation is close to taking a quantum leap in youth, and overall skill level. I just get all goo-goo as I think about a realistic rotation of Wainwright, Rosenthal, Miller, Wacha, and Kelly. I can only pray that Garcia “mans-up” this season so that we might have a RELIABLE lefty in the rotation, but I’m not holding my breath! The future of Cardinal’s pitching looks dominant to me. The pipeline just keeps pumping talent into the big bird’s clubhouse. Good job MO!!!

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