Wainwright, acquired by the Cardinals from the Atlanta Braves in late 2003, has been a fixture in the Cardinals rotation since the 2007 season following a one year stint in the bullpen during the 2006 season. This new contract extension will keep him in a Cardinals uniform through the end of the 2018 season when the right-hander is 37 years old.
The pitcher talked about being a leader and mentor for the young arms in the rotation.
“The young guys should be able to look to someone and mimic somebody like I had with Carp and Matt (Morris) and Woody (Williams),” Wainwright said earlier this spring. “Those guys were on a pedestal for me. When I was with Atlanta in the farm system they had (Greg) Maddux, (Tom) Glavine, and (John) Smoltz. I’m not putting myself in any category. I’m just saying that is a category of player that I hope I can live up to one day.”
Wainwright’s contract is the largest that the Cardinals have offered to a pitcher in franchise history.
Both Bill DeWitt, Jr. and John Mozeliak offered comments this morning at a press conference to announce the deal.
Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr.:
“Adam represents everything the Cardinals look for in a player. He is an elite pitcher with a tremendous work ethic, a great teammate and leader, and a winning, championship caliber player. He has the highest personal qualities and personifies the Cardinals tradition of excellence.”
Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak:
Knowing that Adam Wainwright will be the centerpiece of our rotation for years to come is something that we are thrilled about for many reasons. Adam has certainly proven to be a true staff ace, and the leadership and mentoring that he provides will continue to be an invaluable asset to the organization.”
With David Freese starting the year on the DL due to back issues, Matt Carpenter will be starting the season at third base rather than playing second base. While Carpenter will be starting at third base, I would expect that he will see some time at second base so that he can stay sharp at the position.