Adam Wainwright needs to be locked up


When it comes to letting big name players walk away, the St. Louis Cardinals have one guy that should not be allowed to walk away: Adam Wainwright.
Oct 18, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) waits for a sign during game four of the 2012 NLCS against the San Francisco Giants at Busch Stadium. Image Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Wainwright has done wonders ever since he joined the organization via trade in December 2003. His current contract has him locked up through the end of the 2013 season but the Cardinals need to make sure that they can keep him in the rotation for years to come.

The pitcher has had two Cy Young caliber seasons in 2009 and 2010 before missing the 2011 season to Tommy John surgery. While it is true that he had a slow start in 2012 after rebounding from Tommy John surgery, he rebounded rather well.

Amongst active pitchers, Wainwright is second to only Mariano Rivera in ERA. The criteria include 1000 innings pitched or 100 career decisions. Not too shabby if you ask me.

I know that there are several out that that are simply not a fan of Joe Strauss but he recently wrote a column the other day that probably got myself and others thinking about the Cardinals future.

While it is far from certain that Adam Wainwright will have a Hall of Fame type of career, he is of a caliber that a team just does not release unless management has lost it. I don’t believe that will be the case. If Wainwright is open to giving the team a hometown discount, I see him playing for the Cardinals for the rest of the career.

I would be opposed to him leaving the organization to pursue an absurd contract. Look at a guy like Barry Zito. He was a star with the Athletics, winning a Cy Young and making 3 All-Star teams. Since joining the San Francisco Giants in 2007 as a free agent for a 7 year deal at $126 million through the end of the 2013 season (2014 team option), Zito has not really been the best pitcher. As an A, his win-loss percentage was 61.8%. But as a Giant, it is a horribly depressing 45.7%.

When it comes to Adam Wainwright’s future, I will be as patient as I can be in hoping the Cardinals can secure his services for several more seasons.