The Cardinals officially announced Adam Wainwright’s new deal. As reported last night, Wainwright gets a five-year, $97.5 million contract. And a kicker that wasn’t reported: a no-trade clause.
The no-trade clause is not as risk in Wainwright’s case as it usually is because it’s really only meaningful for two of those five years. After 2014 Wainwright will achieve 10/5 status, meaning that he’s been in the league for ten years overall and with his current team for five years or more. Once that happens he has an automatic blanket no-trade clause pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Wainwright, 31, posted a 3.94 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 184/52 K/BB ratio across 198 2/3 innings in 2012. Now, one more year removed from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery surgery, he feels like someone poised for a big year.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.