Cardinals ink Adam Wainwright to five-year, $97.5 million deal

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FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals have signed Adam Wainwright to a five-year contract extension worth $97.5 million. That’s an average annual salary of $19.5 million, which isn’t bad value for a guy who has been an ace in the past and is likely to be an ace again moving forward.

Wainwright was scheduled to become a free agent after the 2013 season. Now he’ll be property of the Cardinals through at least the 2018 campaign.

The 31-year-old right-hander posted a 3.94 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 184/52 K/BB ratio across 198 2/3 innings in 2012 after recovering successfully from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery surgery. He owns a 3.15 career ERA and a 1.21 career WHIP.

“Waino” has registered a 3.00 ERA and 18/6 K/BB ratio in 27 Grapefruit League innings this spring.

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

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Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.