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Cardinals discuss extension with Adam Wainwright’s agent

Mar 21, 2013, 2:44 PM EDT

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Extension talks between Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals have dragged along, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the right-hander’s agent met with the team today.

“We want to get something done before spring training ends, and that’s our goal,” agent Steve Hammond told Goold. “They have communicated clearly that they want to keep Adam here, and we’ve communicated that he wants to be here. We have to keep working on that.”

Goold indicates that the Cardinals are willing to pay Wainwright like a top-of-the-line starter, which probably means more than $20 million per season, but they’ve so far balked at the length of the contract he’s looking for at age 31. Wainwright is a season removed from Tommy John elbow surgery, so that’s understandable, but he’s also one healthy season away from almost surely topping $100 million on the open market.

  1. spudchukar - Mar 21, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    The Cardinals management would low ball their mother given the opportunity. They expect players to give them a hometown discount, but never reciprocate. The fan base is awesome, and it is a great place to play, but the Cards are not hurting for cash, always rank higher in attendance rankings that payroll rankings. As a Cards fan, it gets old.

    • paperlions - Mar 21, 2013 at 4:45 PM

      Yeah, they’re horrible…the way the low-balled Molina, and Craig, and Garcia, and Holliday, and Motte…..I mean, everybody. Get off it, already. You are simply wrong on this one.

      They offered your beloved Pujols far more than he will be worth for the rest of his career and he left for more money….which was a great thing for the organization, having that $25M/year anchor for the next 8+ years would have sucked. You act like teams are supposed to roll over and meet player demands immediately just because some other dumb owner/GM might be willing to do it…..but that is just bad business and a bad way to build a roster. It is ALWAYS better to pass on a long-term deal or to give up on a player a year or two too early, than to do so a year or two too late.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 21, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        Maybe because they low-balled him for the first part of it.

        Also, I will be reporting to Craig et al that Chris F has taken over paperlions’ account.

      • spudchukar - Mar 21, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        We agree on many evaluations, but never on this one. You are a pro-management guy, I am pro union. Is it class warfare. You bet. As for Pujols, the jury is still out dude. Time will tell.

      • gibbyfan - Mar 21, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        Been a cardinal fan a long time and would agree with Paper on this one. I have seen the pro management style with Gussie Busch when Bob gibson had to all but beg for fair compensation even after setting the record for era (1.12) in 68. But that was before players had any real leverage and now the pendulum has gone the other way. Cards seem to be a well manged organization which pays their players well without going off the deep end. You mention the fan base Spud but the tv revenues are the big thing and the cards get only a fraction of what the big market guys get.thats a difference of tens of million or in the case of the LA teams, well over 100 million/year. They have to be able to do more with less and they seem to do that faily well.
        IMO they should not go over 3 years with Waino–not at 20+ million/year. If that ‘s what it takes I hope they let him go, all things considered.

      • paperlions - Mar 21, 2013 at 7:59 PM

        I’m not pro management at all….I’m just pro-not crazy. I hope they sign Wainwright, I think something in the neighborhood of 5 years and $100M is in the neighborhood of a reasonable overpay. He’s going to be 32 this August, that would make him 37 when the deal ends…anything more than that is 12 kinds of crazy.

        Me thinking that Pujols was overpaid is not anti-union/pro-management. It is just a fact. There is no way he’ll be worth even $150M over the life of that contract….because age matters. I also think their deal with Hamilton is 12 kinds of horrible; he’s been great one year and good a couple of others…my feelings on contracts have nothing to do with union/management and everything to do with understanding performance, value, and probabilities associated with aging curves.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

        PS My comment was about Pujols.

      • paperlions - Mar 21, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        None of us know if the “low-balled” him or not. Pujols was asking for 10 years and the Cardinals wouldn’t do that do an AAV for 8+ years. Apparently, as a “solution” they floated the idea of a higher AAV on a shorter-term deal (e.g. $130M/5 years), which really riled him up.

        Pujols was the one throwing around “loyalty” and ego. He got the financial love he wanted and I honestly hope he is happy with his decision.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 21, 2013 at 9:54 PM

        Personally, I think they underpaid him for years and then weren’t interested in giving him a little backpay so they could keep him there as face of the organization. Also, I don’t think they were interested in keeping him with the organization after his playing days were over — and that’s the part that seemed really stupid to me.

        I probably shouldn’t have this discussion with you.

      • paperlions - Mar 21, 2013 at 9:57 PM

        Eh.

        I don’t think there was a reason to commit to a post-career position when he obviously still wants to play for 10 years. What’s the rush? Why lock into a life-time deal that one or both sides may regret?

        Teams sign a lot of guys to long-term deals, some work out in their favor, some do not….as soon as players like Vernon Wells start giving 75% of their pay back….I’ll be all for players like Pujols getting “backpay”. Can’t just have it one way.

      • paperlions - Mar 21, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        Is there any other player in the majors that is 5+ years from retirement and has a personal services contract with his team already? To me, that is just weird…what’s the rush?

      • historiophiliac - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:02 PM

        Because he *wanted* to be a Cardinal his whole career. He wanted that reciprocal relationship and I think that’s why he was willing to take the lower pay. I think he thought there was a commitment there. I think it really disappointed him that the mgmt didn’t feel the same about him. If you know he’s going to be there til the end anyway, why not get the contract out of the way? Then there’s clarity on both sides. He brought them a lot of goodwill & PR. I don’t think it was a Cleveland-LeBron thing for him really.

      • paperlions - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:19 PM

        What “lower pay”? He never gave some discount. He signed a $100M deal after playing only a couple of years because he wanted to avoid risk. It is greedy to expect to both avoid risk and maximize dollars, that just doesn’t happen when you have no negotiating leverage.

        Again, no one that is 10+ years from retirement insists on a 10-year long personal services contract. No one. Sure, he could ask for such a thing, but he shouldn’t have been surprised that the Cardinals didn’t want to make a 20 year long commitment. No team does such things.

        I get the impression that he though, “I’m Albert Fucking Pujols. You NEED me. You’ll give me everything I want or I’ll leave.” Well, bye. Enjoy living 1/2 your year away from your family. Being a relative no body in that town and never being the most popular player on your team again. But hey, enjoy having made $350M in stead of only “$310M, I’m sure that makes it all worth it.

        A lot of people say they want to do something for the rest of their lives…that usually isn’t true, as they simply can’t anticipate how they will change through time….which is why no one signs life time contacts.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:33 PM

        No offense, but I don’t think Pujols is your average player and there’s always someone who ups the contract ante. He was one of the best players in the game for years and it had to hurt to make less than Jeter when he was the contemporary face of the Cards. I think he signed the contract when he was young believing that having proven his dedication to the team, they would keep him long term & have a place later.

        FYI, I know what I want to do the rest of my life. Some people do know what they want.

      • paperlions - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:52 PM

        Some….maybe….but I would be shocked if in 20 years what you wanted out of life wasn’t different that what you want now.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:57 PM

        Maybe, but it hasn’t changed much so far…but there could be reasons for that, I guess.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:37 AM

        One thing to remember is that players really have no idea at all what it is like to coach or do PR as a job. Most teams will bring guys in to be special assistants in ST to see if a player enjoys the work. If they enjoy it and show aptitude for it, then some arrangement will be made. It is like your institution signing you to a deal that has you become head of food services in 10 years….totally different job, just because it is with the same institution doesn’t mean it is something you’ll want to do or be good at.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:41 AM

        Kind of like Giambi wanting to walk into being a manager? lol Well, business isn’t brain surgery. He could probably do something promotional. I think I’ve worked for dumber people.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:46 AM

        Yeah, kind of like that.

        I think a lot of players, especially stars, find that they need an adjustment period between playing and coaching or doing front office work. Their entire life has been training and playing….then suddenly, they don’t do that anymore. It has to be hard.

        The Cardinals have a long history of bringing back any player that wants to be involved. Their ST assistants are literally a cross section of Cardinal history. Of course Pujols would have been welcomed to try anything he was interested in trying, but there is no reason to commit to a 10 year contract to pay him to do something he had never done before 10 years before he would have been doing it. That is just….weird.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        And, yet, I know O’s fans who dream of Cal Jr taking over the franchise to improve it.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:56 AM

        Yeah, fans that have no evidence whatsoever that Ripken is capable of such a thing…being good at hitting/catching a ball running a front office, scouting, and building an organization.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:00 AM

        It’s the Nolan Ryan effect. But, he and Barry Switzer do sell a lot of stuff they know nothing about. That is the nature of endorsements/PR.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:01 AM

        Indeed.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:03 AM

        We got snow again on Tuesday and on the 3rd day of spring, it still covers everything. Winter isn’t letting go this year.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM

        Sure, rub it in. It was 80* last weekend and we are supposed to get sleet in the am tomorrow with a high in the 40’s. We don’t have winter so much as a season martini (shaken). My friend in western MA said he’s gotten tons this year too. I do miss the snow. It’s pretty — especially out that way.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:24 AM

        …maybe it’s better to say seasonal yahtzee.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:09 PM

        That is, of course, my opinion — being close personal friends and all.

      • paperlions - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:23 PM

        Not to change the subject….but….do you ever watch Mudcats? Love that show.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 21, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        I don’t know that show. What is it?

      • historiophiliac - Mar 21, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        lmao! I’m gonna start calling you bubbalions! The Bassmaster tourney was just here. I thought you were a fly fisherman. Are you playing with me?

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:33 AM

        Nope, that show cracks me up. I am a flyfisherman….but I grew up in the midwest, fishing for bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish. Plus, I just appreciate local cultures and traditions. Those guys use a crazy method to catch huge freaking fish….it’s pretty cool.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:38 AM

        Ok, Bubba. You confused me for a minute. In my experience, flyfishermen don’t bait or noodle. It probably cracks you up b/c they are crazy Okies. Embarrassing.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:40 AM

        Eh, there are crazy people everywhere….but yeah, people are usually embarrassed by the local crazies. I guess this means you’ve never spent a sunday afternoon at a noodling weigh-in, huh?

      • historiophiliac - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:43 AM

        No, I’m not much with the fishing. I don’t have the fortitude.

      • forsch31 - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:01 AM

        Pujols wasn’t underpaid by the Cardinals for years. When he signed that contract, it was a record deal for somebody with that amount of major league experience. It was the richest contract the Cardinals had handed out to anybody, and Pujols was just the ninth player in major league history to have gotten a $100 million contract. and he was the quickest to get one. He had played only three full seasons in the majors at the time of the deal, and he was under club control for three more years. The deal actually was a risk for the team; the idea that Pujols somehow got gyped by the Cardinals and gave them a “hometown discount” with his first contract is completely false.

        In Pujols’ own words (from 2010): “I know people talk about my contract, but when I signed my contract in 2003, 2004, whenever it was, people are talking about that now being a bad contract. But you know what? When I signed my contract back then, the Cardinals didn’t have to do that but they did it. And it was one of the best contracts at the time…..You can compare my contract now to Manny Ramirez, (Mark) Teixeira, A-Rod, whoever you want, and it looks bad, but you know what, they were free agents and I wasn’t. I only had three years in the league and the Cardinals pretty much did me a favor, signing me for $100 million.”

    • okwhitefalcon - Mar 21, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      The first time a club mentioned let alone asked for a “home town discount” my price would go up.

      I don’t think the Cards operate that way anymore.

      For the most part, they know some guys aren’t worth to them what they’ll demand on the open market (Lohse) and some guys have more inherent value to them (Molina) so they may do a perceived overpay as a pre-emptive strike.

      As Lance Berkman has said, “It’s ALWAYS about the money” and anyone who thinks that won’t be the case with Waino is kidding themselves.

      • spudchukar - Mar 21, 2013 at 7:40 PM

        When management stakes their claims, it is prudent business, when players take similar stands they are being greedy, disloyal, and forgetting they are fortunate to be paid so well for playing a game they love. Guess what, the guilt trips the brass have employed in the past no longer flies.

      • paperlions - Mar 21, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        Spud, that has nothing to do with it….it has everything to do with value. I don’t think Lohse is greedy, he just misjudged his market….I don’t think Pujols is greedy, just VERY proud, sensitive, easily offended, dishonest and a huge hypocrite.

        I’ll never bring greed, loyalty, or any other silliness into my comments on contract negotiations. It is plain and simple…it is about value, and value alone. If a guy is asking for more than you think he is worth, or is asking for years that represent a lot of risk, then teams should walk away. If a player can get a better deal from another team, or likes another situation better (because there are other variables, such as location and competitiveness), then he should do that. To me, there is no place for emotion in this….a deal is either a good one for the team/player, or it is not…end of story.

        If Wainwright is asking for 6 years and $150M, the Cardinals SHOULD walk away.

      • spudchukar - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:34 AM

        I think you are fooling yourself with this “value” talk. It is all subjective. If the Cards brass can low-ball they will. Its not as if they would go to a player who is asking for a certain amount and come back to them and say we feel your asking price is too low, you actually have more value than you think so we are going to offer you more.

        My point is Baseball is loaded. Load-Ed!!, as Ron White would say. Some franchises are wealthier, some more generous. Some have great TV deals, some only so-so, but even the lower market teams are pocketing hundreds of millions.

        Never, I repeat, Never in the modern era has a MLB team been a financial failure, and Good Lord knows many have tried.

        As I have said before, nobody goes to a game to watch an owner, own.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:55 AM

        Except, of course, there is plenty of evidence to support the value perspective….whereas you are just fabricating this “low-balling” theory because your favorite player didn’t get everything he wanted. Feel free to list all of the players you think the Cardinals have not re-signed that they should have because they low-balled them. I have a feeling the list will look like this:

        Pujols
        Wainwright (pending)

        The team you see on the field now, that is the result of a well run organization. You are right, people come to see the players (and if you had paid any attention, you would remember me saying that exact same thing many times), but the collection of players on the field represent a process (which usually has little to do with owners and more to do with the program the GM has installed).

        Again, I have repeated said that even the worst owner makes more money than the best player will during his career…..but that has little to do with how much the Cardinals are willing to spend on players. To me, that argument is more about owners begging the public for money to build/upgrade stadiums than it is about player spending. It is their business, they can spend money as they wish….just don’t come begging taxpayers for handouts. At this point in time they have one of the worst TV deals and they are paying off stadium debt. All I read in your post is “waaaaa, they won’t spend more money to keep the players I love”.

        It should already be obvious to you that you were wrong about re-signing Pujols….and you are still bitching about it.

  2. johnstjc - Mar 21, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    pujols would have to have a remarkable non ped aided end to his career to make good on that contract as a first baseman/dh

    • spudchukar - Mar 21, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      Nothing pisses me off more than non-substantiated false accusations. Shame on you. You defile a one of the games all-time greats with phony innuendo. Provide some proof, or crawl back into the dark hole you slithered out of.

      • paperlions - Mar 21, 2013 at 8:08 PM

        I think all he is saying is that PEDs helped players like Bonds extend their careers and be more productive than they otherwise would have been, and without PEDs players are more likely to decline earlier…which means that it is highly likely that the last 4-5 years of Pujols’ contract will be a complete waste of money. I don’t see any insinuation that Pujols used PEDs.

      • johnstjc - Mar 21, 2013 at 8:25 PM

        i love pujols…i’m a lifelong cardinal fan…i was making fun of bonds…sorry if that wasn’t apparent

      • spudchukar - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:20 AM

        If I misread your comment then I apologize profusely. I reread every word three times before I replied, and am still confused by it, but as clarified, I will call it my bad.

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