“It’s going to be long,” he said. “It’s going to be expensive.”
That was a quote from John Mozeliak in regards to an extension for Cardinals’ starting pitcher Adam Wainwright. News about a potential extension for the team’s star pitcher started coming out over the weekend at the annual Winter Warmup festival.
The two sides began preliminary discussions near the end of last season and have continued to have a dialogue during the offseason. Mozeliak has come across positive about the results of the talks, saying that they haven’t had either side drawing a line in the sand. The discussion around it come in stark contrast to the last big renewal the Cardinals had come up for Albert Pujols.
Wainwright even publicly admitted that he decided to wait on closing the deal until the early part of this year, saying that seeing how free agency played out for other guys on the market wasn’t going to hurt his case. It didn’t. Zack Grienke signed a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers worth $26 million per year, further elevating his open market price tag.
What kind of numbers the Cardinals and Wainwright’s agent are talking about is still not out there. If there is one thing we know about the Cardinals is that they won’t offer a contract they aren’t comfortable with as we saw in the Pujols negotiations. Wainwright isn’t even putting a deadline on the deal, just saying that he’d prefer not to think about it during the season. Mozeliak has said he hopes to get something done before the season starts.
I think it’ll be a good deal. The move allows the younger pitchers coming through the ranks to grow into their roles, rather than having the role forced upon them. The organization also feels that having a mentor-type in the rotation, especially with a staff full of younger guys, is a positive. The team has money to spend, about $40 million this coming offseason and even with a big deal for Wainwright, it leaves room for years to come. And Bill DeWitt recently said that the team expects to increase payroll over the next few years. All spell good things for the Cardinals.