ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The St. Louis Cardinals and starting pitcher Adam Wainwright have agreed to a five-year $97.5 million contract extension.

Wainwright, 31, had a deal due to expire after the 2013 season.  The ace righthander now has the largest deal in Cardinals’ franchise history for a pitcher, keeping him in St. Louis through the 2018 season.

“Adam represents everything the Cardinals look for in a player,” stated Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. “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.”

“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,” said Cardinals Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak. “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.”

Listen to the full press conference below:

Wainwright, a two-time National League Cy Young Award finalist (2009 & 2010), owns a career mark of 80-48 with a 3.15 ERA since making his Major League debut with the Cardinals in 2005. During his rookie campaign in 2006, the 6 foot -7 inch right-hander quickly earned a prominent place in Cardinals lore by securing the final out in series-clinching wins against the Mets in the National League Championship Series and the Tigers in the World Series.

Wainwright, enjoyed banner seasons in 2009 and 2010, posting a league-best 19 wins to lead the Cardinals to an N.L. Central title in 2009. He won a career-best 20 games in 2010 and finished 2nd in the N.L. in ERA (2.42), earning his first All-Star selection.

Since becoming a full-time starter in 2007, Wainwright ranks 5th among active pitchers in ERA (3.14) and he stands 10th in both wins (78) and winning pct. (.624; 78-47) even though he missed the 2011 season due to elbow surgery. “Waino” is the career wins leader (44) at Busch Stadium III and he owns the 3rd-best ERA (2.70) in stadium history. Adam is ranked among the Cardinals all-time top-10 career leaders in strikeouts (908-9th) and winning pct. (.625-6th).

The Georgia native won the Rawlings Gold Glove award in 2009 and he was voted by his teammates as the Darryl Kile award recipient in 2008.


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