Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright left St. Louis for his home in Georgia after the season certain any concerns about his elbow are behind him, confident next season will be better than last, and convinced his best seasons are still ahead of him.

He even has an idea of where he'd like to spend them.

In what promises to otherwise be a normal offseason — so long rehab, hello regular preparation — Wainwright could face a pivotal decision for his long-term career. The righthander is entering the final year of his contract with the Cardinals and both sides have expressed an interest in discussing an extension. When it comes to their future together, there's no time like the present.

"In brief talks with (Cardinals executives) they feel real good about me coming back for a long time, and I want to make that happen," Wainwright said. "I don't see any reason why we shouldn't make that happen. ... It's not like I have one foot out the door (to free agency). If I'm being honest, they have to show they respect what I've done and what I will do. And they have. They have. So I don't think it will be a problem."