After an offseason of uncertainty around Adam Wainwright’s future with the Cardinals, the team put that to rest today, introducing Wainwright’s new deal. The team’s number one pitcher put ink on a reported 5 year, $97 million extension that will keep the 31 year old righthander in Cardinal red through 2018. He’ll be 37 the next time he’s scheduled for free agency.
The deal means that he’ll keep pitching to the guy pictured with him, Yadier Molina, for at least the next five years. Molina signed his own five year extension last offseason now making it two years in a row the team has sealed up it’s biggest pending free agent to a longterm extension, spoiling the thoughts of those who figured letting Albert Pujols walk was a sign of things to come for the team.
The new deal will pay Wainwright $19.5 million per year in average annual value and begin in the 2014 season. When you consider the deals that top caliber pitching have been getting in free agency, you have to think that Wainwright left an awful lot on the table in negotiations. The opinion of many is that if he were to turn in a Wainwright-like season this year, he could have easily grabbed $23-25 million per year in free agency. Continue reading
In a surprise move to me, the St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have unconditionally released shortstop Ronny Cedeno. The move leaves Pete Kozma uncontested as the primary shortstop entering the season and opens up a spot on the bench which is expected to be filled by slugging first baseman Matt Adams.
Cedeno, 30, was signed by the Cardinals less than two months ago to a 1 year, $1.15 million contract. He was brought onboard as insurance in the event that Rafael Furcal would be unable to be the team’s regular shortstop and that Pete Kozma’s September was just a lightning strike. Furcal headed for the surgeon’s table, but Kozma was struck twice as he is hitting .318 so far this spring.
On the other hand, Cedeno struggled early but has come on as of late, hitting .290 with a double and a home run. Defensively he has committed 2 errors in his 45 innings at shortstop. The same number as Kozma has in twice as many innings at the position. Continue reading
With the Cardinals getting into the final two weeks of camp, the final jostling for spots on the roster are beginning to take shape. For the Cardinals they have a handful of positions up for grabs. There’s the fifth spot in the rotation that is up for grabs after Chris Carpenter‘s injury. There’s a bullpen spot or two. There’s a couple spots potentially up for grabs on the bench as well.
Today we’ll look at the fifth spot in the rotation. Many, including myself, believe that this was Shelby Miller‘s spot the moment Carpenter called John Mozeliak back in February and told him he wasn’t going to be able to pitch. I’m sure none of us have forgotten that Miller took a no-hitter into the 6th inning of his starting debut on the final day of the season against the Cincinnati Reds.
Miller has struggled, however. Baseball America’s #6 prospect carries a 7.04 ERA over the 7 2/3 innings that he’s thrown. With 10 hits and 2 walks paired with 8 strikeouts, he’s plainly struggled. His worst outing was his last when he allowed 3 earned runs over 2 2/3 innings. In fact he has progressively gotten worse in each start. That may spell him beginning the season in Memphis to get back into the groove he was in the second half of last year when he was dominating the Pacific Coast League and then came up and did it in the big leagues. Continue reading
“The sky is falling!” That’s been the common sentiment I’ve seen over the last couple days, since the news came that shortstop Rafael Furcal is still feeling the effects of the elbow injury he sustained last season and has been shut down. News came out yesterday that he’s going to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion after meeting with the team’s doctor on Monday. Odds are ever increasing that he won’t break camp with the Cardinals and will begin the 2013 season on the disabled list.
The Cardinals were caught with their pants down for failing to acquire a big name shortstop in the offseason. They should have babysat Furcal through the winter to make sure they knew how the arm was. The season is doomed. We need to mash the panic button and trade everyone away for Troy Tulowitzki.
Those have been some of the statements I’ve seen Cardinals fans making over the last couple days. There may be some truth to the statements, but they aren’t all truth. They are worth considering. Continue reading
The St. Louis Cardinals made their first cuts of spring training today, sending catchers Adam Ehrlich and Jesus Montero, along with infielder Starlin Rodriguez to minor league camp. The team may make additional cuts over the next couple days with minor league spring training expected to begin March 6th.
Ehrlich has appeared in 3 games and has walked in both of his plate appearances. Montero has appeared once and struck out in his only plate appearance. Rodriguez has gotten the most playing time, appearing in three games going 1-for-4 with a double.
The move leaves 55 players remaining in camp, you can check to see who is left on my Spring Roster page.
Back from a 50 game suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, Cody Stanley received an invite to Spring Training thanks to being a catcher. Stanley, 24, was a fourth round pick out of the 2010 MLB Draft out of UNC-Wilmington. Scout.com lists him as the Cardinals’ #26 prospect.
He played last year mostly in Palm Beach where he put up a .280/.300/.401 line in 45 games after returning from suspension. His plate discipline seems to be questionable as he walked just six times in 180 plate appearances last year. He’s said to have average tools with athleticism being his best attribute. He’s also been called very raw and an eager learner.
Stanley seems to have everything you’d need to put together a long career, but can he put all those tools together in a package that teams want? That’s my question about Stanley. He wouldn’t play for me though without a better batting eye.