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According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cardinals' starter Adam Wainwright doesn't want to call anywhere other than Busch Stadium home, and the 31-year-old says that his representatives have touched base with the team about making that a reality:
In brief talks with (Cardinals executives) they feel real good about me coming back for a long time, and I want to make that happen. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t make that happen. ... It’s not like I have one foot out the door (to free agency). If I’m being honest, they have to show they respect what I’ve done and what I will do. And they have. They have. So I don’t think it will be a problem.
In his first season back from Tommy John surgery, the righty posted a 14-13 record, 3.94 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over 198 regular season innings.
In three postseason starts, he pitched to a 4.80 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, but those numbers are inflated by his awful performance in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals, when he allowed six earned runs and seven hits over only 2.1 innings of work.
Goold points to the recent extension signed by Matt Cain (six years, $127.5 million) as well as what free agent pitcher Zack Greinke ultimately signs for as being in the neighborhood of what Wainwright will be looking for.
Whether he'll get a five-or-six-year deal for over $100 million remains to be seen, and Wainwright himself understands that baseball, first and foremost, is a business.
From the business side, you do look to see what other guys sign for. My time in St. Louis has been real special. ... But we have talent coming up and it will be a business decision. It’s fine (to reach 2013 without an extension). As I pitch in 2013 if there’s still a question about what I can do, then those questions will all fade by the wayside. My confidence about 2013 is at an all-time high regardless of what happens.
The Cardinals have talent coming up, but it's unproven. At 31, Wainwright isn't a spring chicken, but he's far from "old" and over the hill. It may not happen until sometime next year, but it would be surprising to see Wainwright pitching for anyone other than the Cardinals in 2014.