Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that the St. Louis Cardinals have re-signed long-time pitcher Adam Wainwright. No word yet on length or dollar amount, but I’m expecting a 1 year deal in the $12-15M range.
Wainwright is coming off an average season that started very strong, but ended with a rough September. In 18 starts in the first half of the season, Wainwright had a 3.00 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 7.2 K/9; in the second half, his ERA jumped to 4.69, his WHIP was up to 1.36, and his K/9 dropped to 6.0. Here’s the month by month on all 3:
Wainwright attributed his September struggles to a change in his pitch stride after taking a comebacker off his leg (see the full Twitter explanation here). As I noted in the link, it appeared to me that he was planning on playing.
Wainwright was acquired in the winter of 2003 from the Atlanta Braves, along with Jason Marquis and Ray King, for J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero. He debuted in 2005 and spent his first full season in 2006 as a member of the World Champion bullpen.
There are 2 questions around Wainwright: 1. Was September a fluke? 2. Is Wainwright a Hall of Famer?
We won’t know the answer of question 1 until the season starts. As for question 2, it’s hard to say he’s borderline right now. According to his HOF measurements, he’s getting close. His black ink score is 24 (the average HOFer is 40), his gray ink score is 147 (average HOFer is 185), his HOF Monitor score is 87 (a likely HOFer is 100), and his HOF Standards score is 39 (average HOFer is 50). Close, but not there yet. As far as JAWS, he has a WAR of 46.8, 7-year peak WAR of 36.1, 41.4 JAWS score, 41.4 S-JAWS, and 3.7 WAR/162; the average Hall of Fame starting pitcher has 73.0, 49.8, 61.4, 56.8, and 4.5 for those same categories, all above those of Wainwright’s.
With Wainwright back in the fold, their rotation options include Miles Mikolas, Wainwright, Jordan Montgomery, Jack Flaherty, Steven Matz, and Dakota Hudson (although he is a non-tender candidate), with guys like Andre Pallante, Matthew Liberatore, Jake Woodford, and Zack Thompson as long-shot options. Jose Quintana is a free agent and could also be brought back. The Cardinals could also look to move from depth to acquire an upgrade in the rotation.