St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs

The St. Louis Cardinals have locked up Adam Wainwright with a five-year, $97.5 million contract. That works out to an average annual value of $19.5 million per season. Ace money for a proven ace. Wainwright will earn $12 million in 2013 on the last of two club options tacked on to a four-year, $15 million deal.

Wainwright, 31, missed all of the 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, but he returned to make 32 starts for the Cardinals in 2012. Prior to his date with reconstructive elbow surgery, Wainwright last missed a significant chunk of games in 2008 with a finger injury. Wainwright, for the most part, has been a model of health since he moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation.

For his career, Wainwright holds a 3.15 ERA, 3.31 FIP, 3.57 xFIP, 20.4% K%, 6.8% BB%, and an 8.0% HR/FB rate. While those numbers are impressive, the biggest concern among the Twitter set with the near $100 million commitment to Wainwright appears to be his health.

And the rest…

Speaking of extensions, the Blue Jays have given one to J.A. Happ [DJF]

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A.J. Burnett does his best to haul a two-year extension out of the Pirates [Getting Blanked]

Jeff Passan on baseball’s best shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki [Yahoo!]

Ten rookies to keep an eye on for your fake baseball team [Minor League Ball]

Nightengale on the culture of baseball players and booze [USA Today]

Jason Hammel will be the Orioles Opening Day starter [MLB]