The Timeline For Adam Wainwright’s Options

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told Jon Heyman of SI.com that he "hasn't thought about" whether he'll exercise the reasonable $21MM option for Adam Wainwright’s 2012 and 2013 seasons. The words are jarring at first, since fans are wondering about the option and Wainwright is, too. And while Mozeliak is almost certainly exaggerating when he says he hasn’t thought about the decision, thinking and talking about the option doesn’t help the Cardinals much at this point.

If the Cardinals say they intend to exercise the option and something unexpected happens, like Wainwright suffers a setback, then the front office would find itself in an awkward position. They can avoid P.R. nightmares and maintain maximum flexibility by remaining mute on the issue until the last possible moment. 

The Cardinals took a similar approach last year, when they waited until after the regular season before exercising Albert Pujols’ 2011 option. Everyone knew that Pujols wasn’t hitting the open market, but St. Louis was able to minimize risk by delaying the announcement until after the season.

Though Cardinals starters Chris Carpenter, Jake Westbrook and Jaime Garcia are living proof that recovering from Tommy John surgery is realistic, it’s not safe to assume anything when it comes to serious elbow injuries. At this point, the Cardinals are in wait and see mode like the rest of us, hoping that Wainwright’s rehab doesn’t go awry. They’ve clearly “thought about” Wainwright’s option, but it’s conceivable that they won’t do much more than that until considerably closer to the end of the season.


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13 Comments on "The Timeline For Adam Wainwright’s Options"


rockfordone
4 years 4 months ago

I assume they have insurance on this – what do they get 90% back on this years contract?

4 years 4 months ago

I thought MLB contracts were all guaranteed? Unless their can be certain clauses in it for that.

chaifetz10
4 years 4 months ago

They are. He was referring to an insurance company paying them, not Wainwright.

4 years 4 months ago

Wainwright is guarenteed his money. But if the Cards had insurance on him then the insurance company would cover his salary for the time missed.

jb226
4 years 4 months ago

The player would get the salary (assuming it’s guaranteed) either way; insurance is about the team recovering that money from their insurer.

$1519287
4 years 4 months ago

It depends contract to contract. And option years aren’t guaranteed.

jb226
4 years 4 months ago

“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I intend to exercise Adam’s options” would seem to defuse all sides of the argument rather tidily.

In fact I would probably say it even if it weren’t true, if I were Mozeliak. Wainwright talking about money riding on his rehab is something that would worry me. That’s not something he should be thinking about while he tries to get better. I wouldn’t want him trying to rush back to show me something so I would pick up his options or anything like that, and saying it publicly might help to quiet the press about it and take that added pressure off as well — otherwise I’d probably just call him into my office and tell him face to face.

nictonjr
4 years 4 months ago

Wainwright has nothing to worry about. The A’s paid Ben Sheets $10 mil last year. I’d think teams would line up with 2/21 deals if the Cards don’t pick up his options. I think his position is the Cards either pick up my options or I become a FA. Either way I’ll get my money…

Jeffy25
4 years 4 months ago

Personally, if I was Moz, I would sit down this off-season after Wainwright looks to have been rehabbing well and seeing about turning the two option years into a possible 4 year extension.

More guaranteed money, but less per year. Not sure that Wainwright camp would want that, but I would look into it.

Something like 4/30. I personally wouldn’t take this if I was Wainwright, but it would be worth looking into as the Cardinals.

nictonjr
4 years 4 months ago

Wainwright would take $30 mil a year without a doubt. The absolute least amount of money Wainwright would make over 2012 and 2013 is the 2/21 mil option the Cards hold. After that the Cliff Lee deal seems about right. If rehab is on schedule the Cards could approach him with a 7/130 and hope he gives them the ‘hometown discount’….

Jeffy25
4 years 4 months ago

I meant 30 million over 4 years, total lol.

The reason I mentioned this would be in case Wainwright felt there wasn’t certainty in his arm going forward.

No pitcher should ever get a 7 year deal, and unless he takes a pay cut, there wouldn’t be an extension prior to 2014….5/85, maybe 5/100

You do realize he will turn 33 in 2014 right, you would give him 130 million to pitch until he was 40?

nictonjr
4 years 4 months ago

He’ll be 30 after this season. If he comes back close to normal he’s a top 5 SP. He’ll be one of the top FA SP in 2014. It also happens to be the last year of AJ Burnett’s deal. Yankees will have an opening in the rotation and $16.5 mil contract coming off the books. A 32 year old Wainwright easily gets 5/120.

As for any chance he takes 4/30, his worst season as a SP was better than Kyle Lohse’s best season of his career. If Lohse can get 4/41 with no other teams bidding for him, AW really doesn’t have much to worry about. I think AW is just saying if the Cards want to keep him, pick up his options. If not, he’ll get himself a really nice, probably much larger than $10.5 mil AAV, as a FA….

cards612
4 years 4 months ago

i have a really hard time believing waino would even consider playing for the yankees! in fact, the only other uniform i could see him wanting to wear would be a braves uniform.