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Cardinals hope to re-sign Wainwright

There has been a lot of speculation that the Cardinals won't be willing to pay the price to keep Adam Wainwright in the fold beyond 2013.

But ESPN quotes St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak as calling the team's co-ace as the "face of the franchise" and said the Redbirds plan to make a real effor to sign Wainwright to a contract extension.

Mozeliak said he's hopeful a deal can be worked out prior to opening day a little more than two months away.

I hope something can be worked out because, while the Redbirds have a lot of powerful young arms in the system, there is still a tremendous value in having experience in the mix. Not just on the field where Wainwright can be the ace and stopper. But also in the clubhouse where he can help groom guys like Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal to handle the pressure of big games.

Sometimes a more experienced peer can have a larger impact on a person's development than a whole staff of coaches.

Wainwright is 80-48 over seven seasons with the Cardinals after being acquired as a minor league player in a deal that sent J.D. Drew to the Braves. He's got a career ERA of 3.15 and has allowed 998 hits in 1,073 career innings and has struck out 908 while walking 301. He's twice finished in the top three in Cy Young balloting.

After missing the 2011 season because of ligament replacement surgery in his elbow, Wainwright bounced back last year with a 14-13 record and a 3.94 ERA.