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Adam Wainwright Rumors
The Tigers are showing a lot of faith in 22-year-old Bruce Rondon by making him the frontrunner for the closer role, but Detroit would be better served by having legitimate closing options to choose from, opines Dave Cameron of Fangraphs in a piece for ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd). Developing your own closer rather than paying free agent prices for one is a good idea, but Cameron believes that the Tigers should probably have someone to hold down the fort while Rondon gains some big league experience. Here's more from the AL and NL Central..
- The Twins haven't completely ruled out free agent outfielder Scott Podsednik, but nothing is close to being imminent, writes Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. So far this offseason, the Twins have appeared to be the only club with serious interest in the veteran.
- A Twins official told Wolfson that there isn't much to the news of 41-year-old free-agent pitcher Jose Contreras was working out at the Twins' Fort Myers facility. When asked if it was meaningful or random, the official simply said, "Random."
- Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright says that extension talks won't derail him during spring training as they did five years ago, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. General Manager John Mozeliak hopes to work out a new contract with Wainwright by Opening Day while Wainwright says that he isn't setting a deadline for talks.
- Edwin Jackson is considered an important piece in the Cubs' rebuilding process, both as an experienced starter under contract through the projected turnaround years and in the short-term as support for the rotation in the event of a likely Matt Garza trade this year, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Angels' Vernon Wells has been a trade candidate for quite some time but a source tells Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (on Twitter) that it is now "very likely" that he will start the season with the Halos. Those odds have increased even more now that Delmon Young landed in Philadelphia. Here's more from around baseball..
- Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro told reporters that they plan to use Young as their starting right fielder, tweets Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Young, who may not be available to start the season as he recovers from ankle surgery, has not played the position in six years.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak says that he hopes to work out a new contract with Adam Wainwright by Opening Day, tweets ESPN.com's Jim Bowden. For his part, the pitcher says that he isn't setting a deadline for talks.
- The acquisition of Rafael Soriano caught Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard by surprise, but he isn't in a rut over not getting the chance to close in 2013, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
Hall of Fame and Cardinal icon Stan Musial passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Today, tributes are pouring in ranging from fans outside the Stan the Man statue at Busch Stadium (St. Louis Post-Dispatch video) to the White House (h/t MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch). Daniel Solzman of Redbirdrants.com even suggests the Cardinals name the playing field at Busch Stadium in honor of Musial. The Cardinals are holding their 17th annual fanfest this weekend and, while the Musial official memorabilia booth was closed today in tribute to the St. Louis legend, players still made their appearances and made some news.
- Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. says the club is prepared to increase payroll in the coming years, tweets Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goold adds the 2013 payroll is around $115MM.
- Adam Wainwright, who is entering the final year of his contract, admitted the Cardinals approached him about a contract extension during the final month of this past regular season, Goold reports. Wainwright said he wanted to focus on the playoff stretch and "it wasn’t going to hurt my case to just wait it out and see where some of these guys signed."
- On the upcoming Wainwright extension talks, Goold, within the same piece, quoted GM John Mozeliak as saying, "It’s going to be long. It’s going to be expensive."
- Wainwright has become a mentor to pitching prospect Shelby Miller, Goold writes in a separate article. Miller, who will compete for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, says he doesn't know what he was thinking last offseason when he "was trying to be a beach bod" with his workout regimen. Miller's performance suffered and the club questioned the right-hander's conditioning. Enter Wainwright who exchanged texts with Miller throughout the season and challenged him to reach training camp at a weight that would help his strength and durability.
- While Miller has gained enough pounds to reach his playing weight, Jake Westbrook's outlook on the offseason is to copy last year's regimen in hopes of slimming down, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. "It worked out so well last year that I thought I would just do it again," Westbrook said.
- The injury reports on Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, and Rafael Furcal are positive, according to Langosch.
- Mozeliak says second base is Daniel Descalso's "job to lose," but he is open-minded about Matt Carpenter making a push for playing time there, writes Langosch.
- Mike Matheny told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he only became the Cardinals' manager because of losses he sustained in a failed real estate venture. A Missouri judge recently ruled Matheny and his wife owe more than $4MM from that deal plus interest and court costs. Matheny will earn $750K in the final guaranteed year of his contract.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.
Two years ago the Cardinals faced a Spring Training deadline during extension talks with Albert Pujols, but they won't face a similar deadline with their latest impending star free agent. Both GM John Mozeliak and Adam Wainwright confirmed a hard deadline will not be set for contract talks, report Joe Strauss of St. Louis Post-Dispatch and MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch (Twitter links).
Wainwright, 31, told B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com (Twitter links) that the two sides engaged in contract talks last season and he was comfortable with the figures being discussed, saying he "liked where it was headed." The veteran right-hander pitched to a 3.94 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 198 2/3 innings last season after missing all of 2011 due to Tommy John surgery.
Wainwright will earn $12MM next season and is scheduled to become a free agent after the season. He is represented by Aegis Sports Management. The four-year, $68MM extension Josh Beckett signed with the Red Sox early in the 2010 season could serve as a reference point in talks.
The latest links from around MLB…
- Agent Steve Hammond told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he expects to speak with Cardinals executives about the possibility of an extension for right-hander Adam Wainwright in Spring Training. Wainwright’s entering the final year of his contract with the Cardinals. Goold heard leading up to the Winter Meetings that the sides have not held “substantive” talks this offseason.
- The Nationals made Adam LaRoche a two-year, $25MM contract offer, but they haven’t boosted their proposal, Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post reports. It’s possible the Rangers or Orioles could get involved in the bidding for the free agent first baseman.
- Free agent reliever Chad Durbin is on his way to California to meet with interested teams, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter). Durbin, 35, posted a 3.10 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 61 innings for the Braves this past season.
- Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com wonders if Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette will pursue free agent infielder Kelly Johnson. The Orioles have suggested they’re satisfied with internal second base options such as Brian Roberts, Alexi Casilla, Ryan Flaherty and Yamaico Navarro, but Dubroff suggests Johnson could be a “nice addition.”
Happy birthday to Cubs great Fergie Jenkins, who was born 70 years ago today in Chatham, Ontario. The 1971 NL Cy Young Award winner won 167 games in 10 years with the Cubs and wore the red 'C' into the Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 1991.
Here are some items from Chicago and elsewhere around both the AL and NL Central divisions…
- The Braves don't have any interest in trading for Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Cubs are willing to pay $26MM of Soriano's remaining $36MM salary in a trade and have shopped the veteran to the Astros and Phillies this offseason.
- The White Sox would like to bring back A.J. Pierzynski but only at the team's price, writes Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. While the team has kept in touch with Pierzynski's agent, the Sox are prepared to go ahead with Tyler Flowers as their everyday catcher.
- The Brewers can probably be counted out of the Mike Adams hunt, opines Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link) as the free agent reliever will likely be priced out of the Crew's range. At least seven other teams besides Milwaukee are known to be interested in Adams.
- Also from Haudricourt, he outlines how the Brewers have been historically unable to keep their major stars, a trend that may continue given the team's small local TV contract. The one exception was Ryan Braun, who was already on an eight-year contract when he signed his major extension with the Crew.
- We heard last month that the Royals were trying to trade Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar, but Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that while the team will listen, they "feel no urgency" to move either pitcher. The Royals want a lot of rotation depth and could just put either Chen or Hochevar in the bullpen, though K.C. could also wait until March to find better trade offers. (All links to Dutton's Twitter account.)
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told reporters (including John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer) that his team is pretty much done its winter shopping, though he hinted that the Reds could add a left-handed reliever.
- As the cost of high-end pitching has risen, Adam Wainwright is in position to receive a huge payday as he enters the final year of his contract with the Cardinals, writes the Associated Press. Both Wainwright and the Cards are open to the idea of discussing a new contract before Opening Day.
- From earlier today, the Cubs and Tigers are the final two suitors for Anibal Sanchez. The Cubs thought they had Sanchez signed to a five-year, $75MM offer, but Sanchez is giving the Tigers a final chance to match or top the offer.
A few NL Central free agent targets were identified today, as the Brewers and Cubs are in on Jason Grilli among other relievers, the Pirates have expressed interest in John Lannan, and the Cardinals are in the mix for Scott Hairston. More from the division…
- The Cardinals met with Marco Scutaro's agent tonight, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Scutaro is represented by Barry Praver.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington told reporters including Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "In our minds, we’ve already made our big move with Russ." The Bucs signed Russell Martin for $17MM last week, but still have some work to do. Biertempfel notes that the Pirates have shown interest in five recently non-tendered pitchers: Manny Parra, Lannan, Tom Gorzelanny, Jair Jurrjens, and Mike Pelfrey.
- There have been no substantive talks between the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright about an extension, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals, of course, still remain interested in doing an extension with the 31-year-old before his contract season officially begins.
- Most of the quality lefty relievers are likely to be signed by week's end, suggested Cardinals GM John Mozeliak (B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest reporting).
- The Cardinals and infielder Skip Schumaker are open to a trade, reports Rains, but of course it'd have to make sense for the team.
- The pressure of last summer's contract extension talks affected the performance of Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, agent Paul Kinzer told Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com. The 22-year-old can rest easy now that he's under contract through at least 2019.
- The Cubs remain popular with free agents, president Theo Epstein told reporters including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The team is looking to get creative at third base and will continue to monitor the available starting pitchers (and presumably relievers). Epstein suggested the Cubs have interest in some recently non-tendered players.
Adam Wainwright would like to sign a contract extension with St. Louis this offseason and the Cardinals have expressed interest in working out a long-term deal, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. As the right-hander prepares for the final year on his current contract, he’s beginning to think about his next deal.
“In brief talks with [Cardinals executives] they feel real good about me coming back for a long time, and I want to make that happen,” Wainwright told Goold. “I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t make that happen.”
Wainwright returned from Tommy John surgery to post a 3.94 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 198 2/3 regular season innings in 2012. GM John Mozeliak approached the 31-year-old about contract talks in August, only to hear that he preferred not to discuss an extension during the season.
Wainwright acknowledged that the Cardinals face a “business decision” regarding his future in St. Louis. Matt Cain (six years, $127.5MM) and Jake Peavy (two years, $29MM) are among the right-handed starters whose contracts provide a framework for Wainwright’s next deal. Within a few months, Zack Greinke and Kyle Lohse will have signed deals that will provide further context for talks.
The contracts for Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Jake Westbrook expire following the 2013 season, so it makes sense for the Cardinals to pursue a long-term deal with Wainwright. It doesn’t appear that Mozeliak will have to make substantive changes to the team this offseason, but retaining the right-hander figures to be a priority. Aegis Sports Management represents Wainwright.
Adam Wainwright has told the Cardinals that he’d prefer to wait until the season ends before discussing a possible contract extension, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Wainwright confirmed that GM John Mozeliak contacted him in the past two weeks to discuss a deal. However, the right-hander would prefer to focus on the season now and consider a new deal after the season.
"I don't want to do anything to create a distraction for me or the team," he told Strauss.
Wainwright, who turned 31 yesterday, missed the 2011 season to undergo and recover from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. The Aegis Sports Management client pitched to a 4.75 ERA for the first three months of the 2012 season but has since pitched as effectively as he did pre-surgery, posting a 2.08 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 1.3 BB/9 in ten outings since the beginning of July. Overall Wainwright has a 3.63 ERA with 8.5 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 53% ground ball rate in 166 innings this year.
Wainwright's under contract for $12MM next year and he’s eligible for free agency following the 2013 season. The Cardinals recently extended Jake Westbrook, another member of their projected ‘13 rotation. Mozeliak has been particularly aggressive in signing players to late-season extensions, as MLBTR’s Transaction Tracker shows.
The Brewers released Randy Wolf on his birthday, but the left-hander says the organization “has been outstanding” and showed him lots of respect, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports. Wolf will go home to work out in Los Angeles and hope for another MLB opportunity to emerge. Here are some links from the NL Central…
- The Cardinals’ offseason to-do list includes a potential contract extension for Adam Wainwright, left-handed relief and bench help, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes (on Twitter). Wainwright, who turns 31 in eight days, will earn $12MM in 2013, but he’s eligible for free agency after next year.
- In case you missed it, the Cardinals agreed to a one-year extension with Jake Westbrook yesterday.
- The Astros have not interviewed longtime MLB catcher Brad Ausmus for their managerial opening, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports (on Twitter). The Astros replaced Brad Mills with Tony DeFrancesco on an interim basis this week.
- The Cubs parted ways with six scouts today, ESPN.com’s Keith Law reports (on Twitter).