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.