The St. Louis Cardinals want to keep Adam Wainwright, but there is competition for his services from a team who has money to spend.
The Kansas City Royals have emerged as suitors for free-agent pitcher Adam Wainwright, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, who notes that they are not among the favorites for the right-hander at this time.
Wainwright, of course, is the Cardinals’ primary free agent behind Yadier Molina. It is unlikely that Wainwright would sign anywhere until Molina has a deal in place, given that he has indicated that he would like to continue to play with Molina – in St. Louis or elsewhere.
“He goes, ’I don’t know, but let’s go somewhere together.’ I said I agree, let’s go somewhere together,” Wainwright said in a radio interview on the Scoops With Danny Mac show.
Even if the Royals are not seriously involved in the Wainwright sweepstakes, their interest will help him land the contract he is seeking in free agency. Kansas City has been one of the most active teams this winter in signing free agents and have shown a willingness to spend to get the players they want, as evidenced by the two-year deal that Carlos Santana signed earlier in December.
And for a Cardinals team that has been vocal about their financial constraints this winter, it could make keeping Wainwright in St. Louis more difficult. The team hopes to retain Yadier Molina, but he is seeking a two-year deal and will likely command at least $10 million per season. And Wainwright figures to be in a similar range, though likely on a one-year deal.
The most likely outcome remains that the Cardinals and Wainwright work something out. The two sides have indicated a mutual interest in completing a deal, and there are indications that they have continued to talk this winter. They are likely to be involved in the sweepstakes until the very end, but that being said, there are no signs of progress, meaning that this negotiation – much like many of the others this offseason – will drag on into January.