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MLB roundup: Santana ailing; Wainwright re-ups

The SportsXchange

One pitching ace is assured of riches well into the future, while another doesn't know if he has a baseball future at all.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced a five-year, $97.5 million extension for Adam Wainwright on Thursday, the same day the New York Mets announced that Johan Santana's season -- and possibly his career -- could be done due to continuing left shoulder problems.

Santana has a "probable re-tear" of his left shoulder capsule, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson announced during a conference call.

Santana, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, was examined in New York this week, and an MRI revealed the tear. The news comes less than three years after Santana underwent surgery to repair the capsule in his left (throwing) shoulder.

Alderson said that a second surgery is a "strong possibility."

Santana missed the 2011 season after his first shoulder surgery but returned to the Mets last season. He pitched the first no-hitter in team history on June 1, but his performance proceeded to spiral downward before he was placed on the disabled list in August. Santana finished 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 21 starts in 2012.

Santana is in the final year of a six-year, $137.5 million contract with the Mets. Alderson said the $31 million left on Santana's contract is not insured.

Wainwright will be making big bucks, too. He'll earn $12 million this year in the final season of his current deal before the $97.5 million extension kicks in.

The new deal passes the five-year, $63.5 million contract Chris Carpenter signed with the Cardinals in December 2006 as the richest in team history for a pitcher.

In his first season back from Tommy John surgery, the 31-year-old Wainwright went 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA last season. Since 2007, he has the sixth-lowest ERA among major league pitchers.

--When the Tigers began spring training in February, manager Jim Leyland said he was a believer in closers, and he had no interest in entering the 2013 season with a committee approach to the ninth-inning role.

However, that's exactly the predicament the Tigers face after demoting hard-throwing right-hander Bruce Rondon to Triple-A Toledo.

"There'll be a guy out there in the ninth to close games," general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "We might not have a guy anointed."

Phil Coke, Octavio Dotel and Joaquin Benoit are expected to be Leyland's primary options in a mix-and-match closer situation.

Jose Valverde, an unsigned free agent, was the Tigers' closer last season but he's not on the team's radar, Leyland said.

--Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who is under the team's arbitration control until 2014, plans to cut off contract negotiations as the team packs up to end spring training.

When asked if he might be able to secure a new deal before his Opening Day start against the Giants, Kershaw said "Never know."

Kershaw is earning $11 million this season after making $8 million in 2012. General manager Ned Colletti said at the outset of spring training that the sides had "mutual interest" in a long-term deal.

--The Cincinnati Reds released catcher Miguel Olivo. The 34-year-old batted .222 with 12 homers and 29 RBI in 87 games for the Seattle Mariners in 2012. The Reds opted to go with Devin Mesoraco and Ryan Hanigan as the team's catchers this season.

An MLB.com report suggested that the Miami Marlins are interested in bringing in Olivo to back up starter Rob Brantly.

--Despite hitting four homers in Cactus League play, Colorado Rockies prospect Nolan Arenado will begin the regular season at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

The Rockies will start Chris Nelson at third base, delaying the start of Arenado's major league service time.

--Veteran Juan Rivera was released by the New York Yankees, making newly acquired Lyle Overbay the leading candidate to start at first base on Opening Day. Overbay signed with the Yankees on Tuesday after being released by the Boston Red Sox. New York has a vacancy at first with Mark Teixeira sidelined due to a right wrist injury.

--Prospect Brad Peacock has won a spot in the Houston Astros rotation, and he'll serve as the team's fourth starter.

The 25-year-old is coming off a season in which he posted a 6.01 ERA in 134 2/3 innings for the Oakland A's Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento. He beat out Alex White by compiling a 3.20 ERA in 19 2/3 Grapefruit League innings.

--The Kansas City Royals optioned reliever Louis Coleman to Triple-A Omaha. The righty posted a 3.71 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 51 innings last season.

--The Cardinals will wear a patch on their left sleeve to honor the memory of legendary Stan Musial, who died Jan. 19 at age 92. The patch sports an unusual characteristic in that there is no black, only red. The design features a red border and Musial's No. 6 with Musial's signature through the number.
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