Adam Wainwright contract details: less scary than expected, but the St. Louis Cardinals might have started a year late


Five years, $97.5 million doesn't have a bad ring to it, but the St. Louis Cardinals gave up their biggest advantage in extending Adam Wainwright.

The St. Louis Cardinals signed Adam Wainwright to a big contract extension on Wednesday--five years, $97.5 million--and I'm happy about that because I like Adam Wainwright a lot. That was easy! As with any huge contract extension, of course, the possibility exists that I will eventually not be happy about it, because Adam Wainwright's big contract extension will no longer match up very well with his actual performance.

The good news: Adam Wainwright is worth about $20 million a year right now. It seems condescending to start there, except that the Ryan Howard contract is a real thing. As not-quite-Wainwright as Adam Wainwright looked in 2012, his fielding-independent stats--strikeout rate, walk rate, home run rate--came out almost identical to his 2009 marks, and his projections for 2013 are pretty strong, as a result.

The bad news: The contract doesn't start right now. Like the Yadier Molina contract before it, a lot of my hopes for this extension were pinned on the idea that the Cardinals' main incentive for extending them a year ahead of free agency was to propose a five-year deal that was actually a four-year deal--one that gave Wainwright a raise in 2013 instead of $20 million in 2018.

Instead, the Cardinals signed Wainwright (and Molina) to a five-year contract that was actually a six-year contract; the $97.5 million won't start trickling out until 2014.

That's a significant risk to take on a thirtysomething pitcher; there's a good skeptical take on it in-house, courtesy Steven Goldman, if you'd like to read one. But I think it's fair, if you're a Cardinals fan, to take the same approach team and player did and just forget about your reservations until 2014--for now it's reasonable to just relish the prospect of enjoying Adam Wainwright for another five (six) years.

Latest News

In This Article

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.