THE BIG PIECE
> Been seeing a lot of campaigning by Cards fans for the team to re-sign Adam Wainwright. Urgent campaigning. So I’ve elected myself to clear this whole thing up, since there appears to be a big misunderstanding.
If the Cardinals were to re-sign Wainwright, such a signing wouldn’t happen until after the season; so you can cease with your social media petitioning (which I don’t have to tell you goes unheard by the team). Adam’s agent is in Israel, which means that negotiations during Spring Training are over. Both sides have said they don’t want to negotiate in-season, so the only remaining hope for a Wainwright return to St. Louis is for the Cardinals to win a bidding war in free agency.
EM estimates Wainwright’s market price at about $100 million over five years. That’s already really high on its own. Factor in another team with more money driving the price up, and it’s almost implausible to think that Wainwright would return.
Naiveté is the only thing keeping this hope of a Wainwright return alive, really. His situation is amazingly similar to Albert Pujols‘. Here was a star that everyone wanted to keep in St. Louis for the rest of his career. But his market price was so high; too high for the Cardinals to be able to sustain. So they didn’t. With Allen Craig on a steep rise, there was no need to pay Pujols’ price since there was a comparable replacement already in-house.
John Mozeliak accepted this long before most fans did. Which is why he dragged his feet for so long in negotiations until, finally, Albert was gone. The plan showed immediate dividends with Craig out-hitting Pujols in year one.
The exact same thing is happening now. Shelby Miller, Lance Lynn, Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly have already shown they can hang with the Leagues’ best; and top prospects Carlos Martinez, Tyrell Jenkins, Michael Wacha, John Gast, Michael Blazek and Jordan Swagerty are making their way up as well. Which is why Mozeliak has not signed Wainwright yet and why he almost certainly isn’t going to.
Save your arguments that Wainwright provides more experience and leadership than any of those young guns. I’m not sure how much value these qualities have, but you’re nuts if you think they’re worth the money the Cardinals would save by not signing the guy. (Personally, I tend to think experience is overrated given how well the Cards’ highly touted prospect pitchers have performed. Mike Trout did alright in his rookie year too.)
Sorry to be so cold about all this, but this is how the Cardinals do business now. Better to accept that now than be disappointed in November.
> “Internal estimates classified 100 starts from Furcal this season as a ‘home run.’”
> A “longtime MLB evaluator” says a big reason Kyle Lohse hasn’t signed with an AL team yet is because he has a bad track record in the AL. I would really hope that’s not how teams evaluate players, especially since league stats haven’t mattered in 36 years.
> That same evaluator said that Cardinals pitchers have a reputation for falling off once they are no longer Cardinals pitchers. “The Dave Duncan Effect.”
> The Cardinals “took the Rockies’ temperature“ regarding Troy Tulowitzki months ago. Such an acquisition would be implausible, though. Troy’s is one of the worst contracts in the Game right now, and the Cardinals would be incurring his injury risk along with the burden of his salary.
> We’re all quick to laud players like Matt Holliday who advocate for tougher PED penalties, but MLB Union leader Michael Weiner says, “It doesn’t matter what the penalty is, it depends upon if you think you’re going to get caught.”