I DOUBT KEEPING WAINWRIGHT WILL BE PRUDENT
Twitter Poll: Considering the rising market and depth of starting pitching, should the #stlCards trade Adam Wainwright this summer?—
EL MAQUINO (@elmaquino) December 16, 2012
I was surprised to see that a mass majority of responders to my most recent Twitter poll said that the Cardinals should hang on to Adam Wainwright and try to re-sign him in the offseason rather than try to trade him at the deadline.
In fact, the response was mostly adamant. Few would even consider doing such a thing. But I put that question in particular out there for a reason, and here’s why.
First of all, there are a ton of pitchers less than or equal to Wainwright getting gigantic contracts, and his agent will be expecting something comparable come negotiation time. (Which is why they’ve put off contract talks.) This is going to jack up the price of keeping him significantly high, most likely to the point where a return to the Cards won’t be feasible.
Second of all, the Cardinals might not even need him; certainly not so badly that they have to give him $100 million. Remember that Shelby Miller, Lance Lynn, Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly will all either be a bottom-of-the-rotation starter or in the bullpen this year. Not to mention Carlos Martinez, Tyrell Jenkins and John Gast aren’t far behind. Those are a lot of reasons to let Wainwright go and actually get something out of it.
Looking at the contracts guys like Matt Cain, Jake Peavy, Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez have gotten, I don’t think there’s any doubt the Cards are looking down the barrel of a five-year contract at or close to $20 mill a year. To me, that is way too expensive when there are so many young alternatives who have done a good job proving themselves.
We’ll see what the numbers look like once both sides start negotiating in Spring Training, but I have a strong feeling the demands will be too high, and the Cards would be better off getting four months out of him before trading him for some big-time talent and turning his rotation spot over to one of the young studs mentioned above.
Maybe I’m wrong. (A lot of people seem to think so.) And if I am, hit me up @elmaquino. As always with Twitter poll questions, I’ll RT your response.
The Cards got Ty Wigginton a couple days ago. I certainly can’t justify it. Two years and $5 million for a guy who is for all intents and purposes a DH with mild power and won’t do much for the Cards besides pinch-hit.