Adam Wainwright optimistic about extension talks

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Adam Wainwright is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2013 season. But it doesn’t sound like he’s going to catch a whiff of the open market.

According to B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest, the right-hander said Saturday at the Cardinals’ annual Winter Warm-Up that he and his agent discussed the parameters of a long-term contract extension last summer with the St. Louis front office and that he felt good about the course of the conversation. “I liked where it was headed,” Wainwright told reporters.

The two sides are expected to get serious about negotiations when camp opens in Jupiter, Florida.

Wainwright, 31, owns a spectacular 3.15 ERA and 1.21 WHIP through his first seven major league seasons. He signed a very team-friendly deal before hitting arbitration so he’s probably going to want to cash in now.

Matt Cain’s five-year, $112.5 million pact with the Giants can serve as a kind of blueprint. The Cardinals should have enough room in their budget to accommodate that — a benefit of letting Albert Pujols walk.