Sometime around the start of Spring Training, the Cardinals will be approached by agent Steve Hammond about an extension for pitcher Adam Wainwright. Here's my analysis of some of the factors that could come into play in the Cardinals decision on Wainwright:
First and foremost is money. Based on recent signings by Matt Cain (6 years/$127.5 million), Zack Greinke (6 years/$147 million) and Cole Hamels (6 years/$144 million), one can expect that Wainwright will command an annual salary in the $22 to $25 million range (probably closer to $25 million). Even if you take away the signing bonuses of $5 million for Cain, $12 million for Greinke and $6 million for Hamels, you're still looking at an average annual salary of $20.5 to $23 million. A pretty hefty sum.
Do the Cardinals have the money to afford that kind of contract? Well, the Cardinals have 3 players who could become free agents after the 2013 season: Chris Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Jake Westbrook. These ...