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The Return of Wainwright: What does it mean for the St. Louis Cardinals?

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Wainos back! The 41 year old pitcher is coming back for his 18th and final season in the major leagues. Better yet, for our beloved St. Louis Cardinals but what does that mean for our pitching staff and how the off-season will look for us?

I had very mixed opinions when I first learned of the contract. Wainwright had a challenging season last year starting 32 games going 11-12 with a 3:71 ERA. He dealt with a case of dead arm during the second half which worried a lot of Cards fans, including myself. Then with a little time to relax, rest the arm and make a decision after a shorter than wanted postseason, uncle Charlie came out and explained his situations to the fans. Is undefeated, father time, waving his hand?

The next thing I looked at was the contract, the Cardinals were already set up for a big offseason so the last thing we needed was to overpay a 41 year old pitcher. The contract, 1 year 17 million with 10 million of the contract deferred over the next 10 years (this shows the loyalty of the Cardinals for everything Waino has done for the birds on the bat).

Now the problem that I have with the signing is the handcuff it is to the rotation. At the moment, our starting 5 consists of Miles Milokas, Jordan Montgomery, Jack Flaherty, Steven Matz and Adam Wainwright. All of the 5 mentioned are solid starting pitchers, however, this team lacks an ace just like last year. Milokas was good as our number 1, but he’s more of a number 2 or 3 starter. The same can be said with Montgomery, who was lights out when he joined the rotation. Matz and Flaherty battled injuries so expectations for next year will be tempered.

I believe the cards should go out and sign an ace like a Carlos Rodon or a name even someone Jacob Degrom. Any move could be tough with contracts that are already in place for the team that calls the arch their home.

Having Uncle Charlie back for one last season, however, gives the Cardinals a veteran that the young guys can lean on. The front office job this offseason will be more difficult though, as a lot of decisions need to be made in order for a 12th World Series title run can begin.

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