Last week contract talks between Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals were called “casual” and “ongoing,” but yesterday general manager John Mozeliak indicated that the two sides aren’t close on a long-term extension.
Wainwright is entering the final season of his contract with a salary of $12 million and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the 31-year-old right-hander may be willing to continue negotiating during the season if necessary.
“I think both parties have a similar goal,” Mozeliak said. “In time, we’ll see if we can work towards it.”
Given his age and the fact that Wainwright is one season removed from Tommy John elbow surgery the length of a potential extension could be tricky, as the Cardinals would no doubt like to limit a deal to two or three years.
The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.