Adam Wainwright: 10 Teams to Take a Chance If the Cardinals Decline His Option
After news broke that Adam Wainwright will miss the entire 2011 MLB season, the Cardinals have a serious decision to make whether or not they want to exercise his option for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Originally, that option was extended due to Wainwright’s stellar 2010 performance when the "Cards" saw their No. 2 starter end the season second in the National League Cy Young voting.
Even though Wainwright’s option is currently guaranteed, it could also be declined if he ends the 2011 season on the disabled list.
This is become an all-too-real reality for St. Louis and Adam Wainwright.
If the Cardinals decide to decline Wainwright his option for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, here are 10 teams that may be willing to take a chance on Wainwright coming off a whole year missed due to Tommy John surgery.
New York Yankees
What list involving a high-priced player wouldn’t involve the New York Yankees?
The Yankees obviously have the money to dish out for a starter of Wainwright’s caliber, but they also have even more incentive to try and come to terms with him.
Currently, they’re only confident in their numbers one through three starters, C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes respectively.
With some uncertainty surrounding the last two spots, the Yankees may be in the position at the end of 2011 to make a strong push for a proven pitcher coming off an injury.
While Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Sergio Mitre or Ivan Nova may come out of the woodworks and get the job done this season, many experts predict this combination won't make the Yankees faithful too confident in their starting rotation.
If the Yankees can get the right amount of numbers to lure Wainwright to New York, he could be a solid fixture in a rotation to prove he is back on his A-game.
New York Mets
The Mets could be a dark-horse candidate for Adam Wainwright’s services this coming offseason.
Many Mets fans have some harsh memories of Wainwright, and what he’s done to us since that depressing night in 2006….I’m still too depressed to get into any details.
Wainwright coming off injury may be a cheap option for any team and may be affordable enough for the Mets to scoop him up.
As seen in the past, the Mets have no problem giving out contracts to pitchers coming off surgery, and, even this year, they were at it again.
Chris Capuano and Chris Young were both coming off their own arm issues, but the Mets saw some improvement in these two and gave them a major league contract.
The Mets have seen some success by doing this in Robert Allen Dickey.
R.A. Dickey was signed to a minor league deal last season after few suitors were after his services. After starting the year in the minors, Dickey made it to the majors and proceeded to lead the team in ERA and put up double-digits in the "win" column.
Wainwright could see similar success in New York, and the Mets should welcome the opportunity to add a former ‘Met-killer’ to their team.
The Astros have played years of mediocre baseball, so the chance to add a premier starter coming off injury to their staff is an option they should seriously consider.
With names like Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and Bud Norris headlining their staff, the need for new blood in the rotation is a must.
The Astros have some nice pieces on their team. Michael Bourn, newcomer Bill Hall, Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee could all use the support of a strong ace like Adam Wainwright on their team.
After Ubaldo Jimenez, the Colorado Rockies could be in the market for an upgrade.
Taking a chance on a proven starter coming off TJ surgery may not be their first choice, but it should be on their checklist of things to check out in the 2011 offseason.
Jorge De La Rosa, Adam Cook and Jason Hammel can hold down their starting jobs, but after that, things get a little tricky.
Wainwright to the Rockies would give him a chance to get back into the swing of things, while making the Rockies a legitimate contender once again.
After losing out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, the Rangers should be primed to make another big-name acquisition come next season.
Wainwright’s proven production could be just what the Rangers need in a veteran starter looking to mentor up-and-coming starters Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz.
Not to mention, now that C.J. Wilson will be taking the role of the team’s ace, he will want some established support for the days he has off.
I don’t care how well he did last season, when a manager tabs Livan Hernandez as his opening day starter, you know a team is in need of some starting pitching help.
After Hernandez, the Washington Nationals have Jason Marquis, Jordan Zimmerman and youngster Yunesky Maya, all of whom need to prove to the league they are legit starters.
Marquis is coming off injury and is a sucker for the giving up the long ball. Maya has all sorts of question marks surrounding him, and, after the big contracts the Nationals' front office handed out this offseason, they should have room on he payroll to upgrade with Wainwright on their radar.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels starting staff is fairly solid, but it will add that much more depth if they explore picking up Adam Wainwright and his No. 1 starter arm.
After exploring trades for Scott Kazmir, and Joel Pineiro being at the back end of his career, Wainwright to the Angels will be a logical pick up to give their rotation some added depth for the future.
Wainwright would be another great option given Jered Weaver’s disapproval of the Angels' arbitration win.
The Mariners would be a viable option for Wainwright as he gets back into the swing of things coming off a major surgery.
Much like what Cliff Lee did while with Seattle, Wainwright could quietly have a great year and then bank the next offseason, assuming he signed a one-year deal.
Safeco Field would also be a great place for Wainwright to get back on track. A pitcher friendly park and the thin area of Seattle would do wonders on Wainwright’s surgically repaired arm.
Much like Safeco, the McAfee Coliseum would be a great pitcher-friendly park for Wainwright to get back on track.
The A’s have been known to take on pitchers who have had an injury-riddled past, most recently Ben Sheets. So taking a chance on Wainwright would not be out of the norm.
On the West Coast, Wainwright wouldn’t get as much publicity as he would in St. Louis or on the East Coast, so it could be a great place for him to get back to form.
Kansas City Royals
After losing two of their front of their rotation pitchers in Zack Grienke and Gil Meche, the Royals may be in the market for a starter, and Adam Wainwright should be their guy.
With less pressure on him, Wainwright could have a career year in Kansas City, not to mention the attention he would get from pitching on a team in such close proximity to St. Louis.
Wainwright would bode well in KC as he gets back on track to his Cy Young form.