Cardinals, Wainwright Agree to 2020 Contract

photo: Adam Wainwright (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Tuesday, November 12) that they have agreed to terms with free-agent pitcher Adam Wainwright on a one-year contract for the 2020 season.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wainwright, 38, will be entering his 16th season with the Cardinals in 2020, the 3rd-most seasons as a pitcher in a Redbirds uniform.  Jesse Haines (18 years, 1920-37) and Bob Gibson (17 years, 1959-75) are the only pitchers ahead of him.

Adam Wainwright

“We are excited to have Adam returning for 2020 and look forward to watching him continue to add to his tremendous career legacy with the Cardinals,” stated Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak.

Wainwright will enter the 2020 season ranked 4th all-time among Cardinals in wins (162), 2nd in strikeouts (1,776) and 6th in innings pitched (2,103.2).  The two-time World Series Champion (2006 & 2011) and three-time All-Star (2010, 2013, 2014) ranks 8th among active pitchers in wins, 14th in strikeouts and 9th in ERA (3.39), despite missing significant time due to injury in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

Wainwright went 14-10 last season with a 4.19 ERA in 31 starts, leading the National League with his five wins in September.  He finished T6th in the N.L. in wins, his highest season win total since 2014 when he won 20, as he became the lone active N.L. pitcher with 10 career double-digit win seasons.

Wainwright was the first Cardinals pitcher since Pete Alexander (16 wins in 1928 at age 41) to post 14+ wins at age 38 or older, and the first in the majors to have done so since the Mets’ Bartolo Colon (15 wins in 2016 at age 43).

A former Rawlings Gold Glove (2009 & 2013) and National League Silver Slugger (2017) award winner, Wainwright owns a career mark of 162-95 with a 3.39 ERA in 383 games (316 starts) covering 2,203.2 innings pitched.  He is the Cardinals all-time leader in postseason games pitched (27) and strikeouts (115) and was on the mound for the Cardinals World Series and National League Championship Series clinching wins in 2006.

Brian Walton’s take

This was expected. The most important information will be the financial terms, which have not yet been disclosed, but will be added here when they do. I expect it will be the second consecutive heavily-incentive-laden contract for the sure-fire future Cardinals team Hall of Famer.

2019 was clearly Wainwright’s best performance since 2014, the first season of an expensive five-year, $97.5 million contract marked by frequent injuries. His 2019 deal netted him $8 million in quantity of games started incentives on top of a $2 million base, for a total of $10 million.

Even if Wainwright can replicate his 2019 results, which is far from assured, the Cards must replace starter Michael Wacha, now a free agent. The club has not had a regular left-hander in the rotation since the trade of Jaime Garcia three years ago.

With more changes just ahead, prior to the Rule 5 Draft, the Cardinals 40-man roster currently sits at 38 players.


This makes sense. A higher guarantee, but the same ceiling.

For more

To track the Cardinals’ 25- and 40-man rosters as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.

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