There are at least two other pitchers that had to wake up happy on Wednesday morning over the new six-year, $144 million offer that Cole Hamels has accepted from the Philadelphia Phillies. One is Zack Greinke of the Brewers, who becomes the top free agent target to hit the market this fall.
The other is St. Louis Cardinal Adam Wainwright. Though the 30-year-old (he turns 31 on August 30th) has another year on his current contract, seeing the prices for pitching escalate across the game has to make him feel very good.
With Chris Carpenter’s distinguished career nearing its end, soon Wainwright will be the sole anchor of the Cardinals staff. As good as the prospects coming up through the minor league system are expected to be, the staff needs a leader.
There seems no doubt that Wainwright is the man. The only question is how much money it will take to retain his services. Specifically, will the Cardinals pay $20 million per season?
Let’s look at some recent extensions of pitchers’...