Adam Wainwright just agreed to one of the most incentive loaded deals since Albert Pujols’ defection to Los Angeles. Unlike that abomination of a contract, this deal is a great deal for both Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals to make, and should quell any anger about Wainwright’s resigning.
When thinking about Adam Wainwright and resigning him in 2019, what was the biggest concern for St. Louis Cardinals fans? The first was overpaying by giving him a contract that was more based on what he had done in the past and not what he would be able to do for the team now. The second was Wainwright’s ability to perform consistently over a long season.
Both of those fears are struck down with this contract, which starts at one year, $2 million. The reason I say starts is that this contract is full of interesting incentives, all based on Wainwright’s ability to perform this season.
This essentially makes the contract one that is heavily performance based. If Wainwright simply doesn’t have enough left in the tank or if he gets hurt, the St. Louis Cardinals will be paying for what they get out of him.
That doesn’t make it all bad for Waino. While it seems like this contract is team-friendly on the surface, it gives Wainwright a chance to earn far more money than anyone else would have been willing to pay him without impeding any moves the Cardinals may try and make.
There are three different categories for these incentives, and each of them are dependent on the role that Wainwright is used. As a whole, they all allow the St. Louis Cardinals and Adam Wainwright to effectively co-exist in what is most likely the swan song for one of the most beloved players of his generation.