“There’s some things I really like about our chances of winning this year,” Wainwright continued. “I wouldn’t sign back, honestly (otherwise). I would have gone somewhere else.”
The Cardinals entered the winter insisting their priority was to re-sign Wainwright and Molina and allow both “legacy” players to finish their careers together as Cardinals. Competitive offers from contending teams such as the San Diego Padres earlier this week prompted the Cardinals to improve their offer to Wainwright. He agreed to a one-year, $8-million deal that he said was for less money than two other teams offered.
“I’m coming home,” he explained.
When he does, it looks as if there will be a familiar face crouching behind it.
The Cardinals, a source said, expect to complete a one-year deal with Molina when he returns from the Caribbean Series in Mazatlan, Mexico. Molina, 38, has been the designated hitter for Puerto Rico’s championship team and representative in the tournament.
Wainwright, 39, said he and Molina have spoken several times a week throughout the winter. On Thursday night, shortly after agreeing to terms with the Cardinals, he spoke to Molina, who was in full catcher’s gear and standing outside a dugout.
The burst of activity from the Cardinals came after several quiet months and within a few weeks of spring training.