But it seems to me that, while the Redbirds might have something of a cash crunch this season, they stand to have a lot of payroll flexibility beyond 2013. So the question is, would they get more bang for the buck paying a premium for their own star hurler -- or from getting into a competitive bidding situation over one of several less dominant starters who will hit the open market?
Wainwright and St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak broke off contract talks earlier this week shortly after the Cardinals arrived at spring training camp in Jupiter, Fla. While they said things remained cordial, both admitted there was absolutely no momentum toward a deal. Mozeliak told ESPN radio in St. Louis Tuesday that, despite public perception that the new contract for Seattle ace Felix Hernandez would drive Wainwright's price tag higher, he viewed Wainwright's situation as being "in a different universe" than the one that caused Hernandez to receive a $175 million, seven-year contract from the Mariners.
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