General manager John Mozeliak said last month that the Cardinals planned to exercise their 2012 and 2013 options on rehabbing right-hander Adam Wainwright and now they’ve made things official.
Wainwright, who missed the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery during spring training, will earn $9 million in 2012 and $12 million in 2013. That total commitment of two years and $21 million is the exact same amount rotation-mate Chris Carpenter agreed to last month as a contract extension.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch “the club expects Wainwright to have a normal offseason and be cleared for full workouts come next spring training.”
Goold reports that Wainwright recently had to stop throwing for a week when going at close to full strength disrupted some painful scar tissue, but he’s resumed playing catch. Making a $21 million commitment to someone who hasn’t pitched since 2010 is obviously a big risk, but before the surgery Wainwright ranked among the truly elite starters in baseball and even with Albert Pujols’ status up in the air the Cardinals will clearly remain in win-now mode for next season.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: