Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright made his final start Tuesday of spring training before opening day next week in Arizona.

It was not, however, the last time he’ll make news this spring.

Negotiations between Wainwright’s representative and the Cardinals continue to accelerate with a mutually understood deadline of opening day, which arrives Monday against the Diamondbacks.

Sources familiar with both sides of the conversations expressed a sense of optimism for an agreement on a deal before Wainwright delivers his first pitch of the 2013 regular season.

General manager John Mozeliak and agent Steve Hammond continued their talks Tuesday, discussing the extension at the same time Wainwright pitched six innings in the Cardinals’ 11-4 victory against the Mets at Tradition Field.

“The St. Louis Cardinals and Adam Wainwright aggressively continue to work to a resolution on his contract status,” Mozeliak told the Post-Dispatch after Wainwright’s start. “And there is a sincere desire as there has always been to find a way to extend Adam. As opening day draws near, talks are intensifying and both parties agree that resolution is best sooner rather than later.”

Wainwright, 31, is entering the final year of a contract he signed during spring training 2008 that will end up being a six-year, $36-million deal.

Mozeliak has described any new contract with Wainwright as “long and expensive.” Both sides have declined to go into specifics of the negotiations. Last week’s face-to-face meeting between Mozeliak, Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and Hammond did generate progress where earlier in the spring the sides stepped away from talks because of the gap between their proposals.