For years, it has appeared that the St. Louis Cardinals almost always end negotiations right around the start of Spring Training. Sometimes, they extend a few weeks into March but most of the time, there are no negotiations for contract extensions once the season has begun.
Yes, there are the rare times that an extension will be announced during the season but usually, the player is not in his final year of the contract.
The case with Wainwright, though, appears that there is no deadline in question.
Wainwright went on the record as saying that “the door is still open. It just didn’t work out right now.”
Even Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said as much.
“There is still a lot of time,” Mozeliak said. “There are no deadlines in place. There’s still plenty of room and lots of opportunity. The process has been professional. Both sides remain open to discussions, and they could continue at any time.”
Jeff Gordon wonders whether the stalemate will hang over the Cardinals during spring training. I respectfully disagree. I would think that there will be a peaceful solution with a happy ending for both parties involved. If it doesn’t happen by the start of the season, I will remain cautiously optimistic that a deal can be set.
Some players have taken a hometown discount to remain with the Cardinals. While Wainwright was originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves organization, he’s been a Cardinal for as long as I can remember. With Carpenter shelved indefinitely, Wainwright is–in essence–the new staff ace for the Cardinals pitching rotation.
In 7 seasons, Wainwright is 80-48 in his career. That’s good enough for .625 winning percentage. He had a slow start to the 2012 season but at the time, he was only one year removed from Tommy John surgery. He is 92 strikeouts away from throwing 1,000 strikeouts in his career.