If he so chooses, it appears Adam Wainwright will have the opportunity to play for a team other than the St. Louis Cardinals - the organization he's spent his entire 15-year career with - in 2021.
David O'Brien and Ken Rosenthal reported Friday that the Braves "have contacted Wainwright," noting that the organization is looking to add a veteran to their starting rotation for 2021.
In hindsight, it's rather amazing that the Braves made it to within a victory of reaching the World Series in 2021. Following a dominant rookie season, Mike Soroka suffered a season-ending achilles tear in his third start of the season. 2018 All-Star Mike Foltynewicz got shelled in his lone major league start of the year. And after signing a one-year/$18 million deal, former World Series MVP Cole Hamels wasn't able to stay healthy, making just one start in 2020.
All wasn't lost in 2020, with Max Fried emerging as a frontline starter and Ian Anderson flashing top-of-the-rotation potential in six starts, but certainly the team could stand to add rotation depth this winter. Though he turned 39 in August, Wainwright was still effective in 2020, posting a 3.15 ERA and 4.10 FIP in 10 starts.
The idea of Wainwright finishing his career in Atlanta is even more interesting than a three-time All-Star potentially joining a World Series contender. Wainwright attended Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Georgia and was actually selected by the Braves with the 29th overall pick in the 2000 MLB Draft. He was dealt along with righty Jason Marquis and left-handed reliever Ray King to the Cardinals in a December 2003 trade that netted the Braves star outfielder J.D. Drew and bench piece Eli Marrero. Drew spent just one season with the Braves, while Wainwright has helped the Cardinals to win two World Series titles.
Of course, there will be quite a few teams interested in making a short-term commitment to a starter that's still very effective. For his part, Wainwright said that both he and Yadier Molina would like to return to St. Louis for another season together.