Adam Wainwright still has another year and $12 million on his contract after this season, but he’s pitched so well returning from Tommy John surgery that the Cardinals are interested in signing him beyond 2013.
Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the front office approached Wainwright about a possible contract extension and the right-hander told them he wants to wait until the season is over for fear of becoming a distraction for the team.
Wainwright initially struggled to regain his form after missing all of last season, taking a 5.77 ERA into mid-May, but since then he’s started 18 games with a 2.87 ERA and 116/22 K/BB ratio in 122 innings. Obviously he needs to stay healthy, but at age 31 he could be one season away from $100 million offers on the open market.
The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”
While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.
The deal has not been confirmed by the team.