Word is that Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright would like a contract at least six years long while the front office wants to limit a deal to four seasons.
Six years is a pretty long time for a guy who is going to be 32 when his current contract expires. But, once you get past that initial sticker shock, I believe there is a way to get things done.
If Wainwright was willing to give a little in terms of average annual value, I would consider a six-year deal if I was the Cardinals GM... Provided that the new contract replaced the current deal on the table for 2013.
Then it would actually be a five-year extension that would cover Wainwright through his age 36 season. He'd get a little bit more money this year, potentially. But by biting the bullet up front, the Cardianls would insulate themselves a little bit on the back end of the deal when Wainwright would potentially be less effective.
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An offer of six years at $20-21 million a season would put Wainwright in the territory of the $125-million, five-year deal signed by Cliff Lee that is allegedly his target. He gets the total he wants, the Cardinals spread the deal out over six years to lover the average annual value.
The Cardinals get to claim they were the good guy by giving Wainwright six years. Wainwright gets to claim he took a discount to stay in St. Louis by taking $20-21 million a year instead of holding out for Felix Hernandez or Zack Greinke money.
Get it done, boys.