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Cards sign ace to 5-year contract

JUPITER — After about two months of negotiating a contract extension with right-hander Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals reached an agreement that will keep their ace in St. Louis through 2018.

The sides agreed to a contract that guarantees Wainwright an additional $97.5 million over five years through 2018, Fox Sports and mlb.com reported. Wainwright is already set to earn $12 million this season.

Wainwright had been eligible to become a free agent after the World Series. The Cardinals scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. today.

Wainwright's contract would easily eclipse the five-year, $63.5 million deal Chris Carpenter signed in December 2006 that had been the Cardinals had ever given to a pitcher.

Wainwright, 31, was 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA last year after missing the Cardinals' World Series championship season in 2011 because of elbow surgery. He was 20-11 with a 2.42 ERA in 2010 and was an NL All-Star.

Getting Wainwright signed before he could become a free agent was a priority for the Cardinals, who, in the past 13 months, have also signed catcher Yadier Molina and first baseman Allen Craig to long-term extensions. Wainwright had expressed a desire to stay but also wanted to be paid what he viewed as fair market value.

"I feel like I'm the guy that wants the ball in big situations," Wainwright said. "Probably most of our pitchers would tell you the same thing, but I expect the ball in big games."

ANGELS: Right-hander Mark Lowe, released by the Dodgers this week, agreed to a minor-league deal.

A'S: An arbitration court in the Dominican Republic ordered outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to pay 22 percent of the value of his contract to Edgar Mercedes, the former agent who helped secure the deal.

D'BACKS: Utility player Willie Bloomquist will start the season on the disabled list with a right oblique strain.

MARINERS: Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma, and right-hander Jeremy Bonderman was reassigned to minor-league camp, likely ensuring rotation spots for right-handers Blake Beavan and Brandon Maurer.

NATIONALS: Outfielder Bryce Harper will likely miss the final two spring games with a swollen left thumb but expects to be ready for opening day Monday.

ORIOLES: Right-hander Jason Hammel has been named the opening day starter by manager Buck Showalter and will face his original team, the Rays, on Tuesday at the Trop. … Right-hander Jair Jurrjens was hit by a line drive and left the game against the Yankees because of a bruised right rib.

PIRATES: Left-hander Jeff Locke won the competition to be the No. 5 starter, beating out right-handers Kyle McPherson, who was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, and Jeanmar Gomez, who will begin the season in the bullpen.

RANGERS: Right-hander Nick Tepesch, who has yet to pitch above Double A, was named the fifth starter to open the season. Right-handers Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz and left-hander Martin Perez will all begin the season on the disabled list.

REDS: Devin Mesoraco was named the backup catcher to Ryan Hanigan, and the team hopes that veteran Miguel Olivo will accept an assignment to Triple-A Louisville.

RED SOX: Left-hander Jon Lester, who went 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA last season, was named the opening day starter.

TIGERS: Outfielder Quintin Berry was optioned to Triple-A Toledo, meaning Don Kelly will make the opening-day roster.

TWINS: Right-hander Vance Worley was named the opening day starter.

WHITE SOX: Left-hander John Danks was placed on the 15-day disabled list as he recovers from August shoulder surgery.

Cards sign ace to 5-year contract 03/27/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:57pm]

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