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Adam Wainwright has no regrets about signing five-year, $97.5 million contract extension

Jan 18, 2014, 8:05 PM EDT

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Adam Wainwright inked a five-year, $97.5 million contract extension with the Cardinals last March, just eight months from what would have been his first brush with the free agent market. That deal looks like an absolute bargain for the Cards in the wake of the seven-year, $215 million pact that Clayton Kershaw signed last week with the Dodgers, but Wainwright has no regrets about the particular course he took.

The ace right-hander spoke to fans and reporters Saturday at the Cardinals’ annual Winter Warmup at a downtown St. Louis hotel. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch collected the money quotes:

“Heck no. No. Not at all,” Wainwright said when asked if the $215 million Kershaw deal left him envious. “I’m happy for him. Absolutely not. I was so happy to go into this offseason and not have to worry about being a free agent. I’m right where I want to be. People ask me the same thing about the deal I signed before. Do you have any regrets about signing the deal early? I have no regrets. Once I signed that deal, that was the deal I wanted to sign. I didn’t have to sign it. We worked to get to a number where I felt made it fair for both sides. This is where I wanted to be. Do I think I could have made more money on the free agent market? Absolutely. … But you can’t buy happiness. I’m not going to be happier anywhere else than where I am right now.”

“I have got two rings already,” the 32-year-old Wainwright concluded. “Great memories here. My favorite color is red now. I just feel like I bleed Cardinal red. There is no other color I want to wear.”

Waino had a 2.94 ERA and 219 strikeouts in a league-high 241 2/3 innings last season.

He then made five postseason starts for the National League champions.

  1. nymets4ever - Jan 18, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Poor thing’s barely been able to scrape by.

    • ariesinil - Jan 19, 2014 at 3:30 AM

      I am a die hard Cardinals fan. Look at the retired numbers in center field. Look at our WS history.

      The Cardinals are a class orgination.

      They want to pay Wainright 20 mil a year…there is a reason behind it…look at what the Cards have done the last few years….we just keep on winning….and winning…and winning.

      • skins51186 - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        ….except when you lost to Boston in the WS. I get it, you’re proud of your team’s accomplishments. I don’t hate, so I’ll give your team credit. But I’m not sure what a “class orgination” is; I’d argue they are a well-run organization. If your team is classy, then you should honor them by being classy yourself- as in not posting “The Cardinals are a class orgination” and “we just keep on winning….and winning….and winning”. Be classy and root for your team without coming across as a pompous d-bag (unless you want Cards haters calling you out for being obnoxious).

  2. NYTolstoy - Jan 18, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Lol first off I am pretty happy with what he said and respect that. Just like when Weaver signed that team friendly deal with the Halos. I give him respect for not trying to squeeze off every dollar he could of gotten, which to be Frank most players do.

    Though it made me laugh when someone can say the words “regret” and 97.5 million dollars in the same breath. It’s just bizarre.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jan 19, 2014 at 8:52 AM

      And you can’t blame players for getting every dollar they can. After all, what they don’t get goes to the owners pocket anyway.

      • hmm325 - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        That’s what owners of a business are suppose to do make money! So why blame the owners for doing what they are suppose to do. Instead you are for players getting every dollar they can which results in higher ticket prices. I see you didn’t take a business class in college.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Instead you are for players getting every dollar they can which results in higher ticket prices. I see you didn’t take a business class in college.

        I see you didn’t take an economics class in college. Player salaries are not affecting ticket prices. That’s so much baloney. It’s supply and demand. Let me help you:

      • Francisco (FC) - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        And I don’t blame the owners for making money. But given the choice between seeing an Billionarie owner pocket more millions and seeing that money in the pocket of that All-star homegrown talent who will help the team win, I would rather that player get his payday and play for the home team as long as it makes good baseball sense.

  3. kingscourt25 - Jan 18, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    No Ragrets

    • NYTolstoy - Jan 18, 2014 at 9:14 PM

      How can anyone thumbs this down? Come on “no protection” line made me laugh like a fool lol

    • paperlions - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      Posting on HBT is kind of like getting a tattoo. No edit function.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        That depended on the tattoo

  4. spudchukar - Jan 18, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Let’s say Kershaw is $5 mil more valuable than Wainwright. He is younger, left-handed, has posted better numbers. Add about another $2 mil for inflation, the Dodgers being the Dodgers, and the Cards being the Cards, and things begin to even up. Wainwright gets almost twenty a year, Kershaw thirty. So it becomes more like a $3 mil a year bargain, and Waino has already had the TJ surgery.

  5. NatsLady - Jan 18, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    The original.

  6. Carl Hancock - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    I can tell you another factor that played into both Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina signing team friendly extensions with the Cardinals rather than test the Free Agent mark: Albert Pujols. They’ve both played their entire careers in St. Louis and no it’s a franchise that is going to continue being successful with a fan base that showers them with affection. You gotta respect the fact that they are players that factored that into the decision making because both could have gotten more money via Free Agency. Remember those rumors that Albert regretted his decision very early in his first season with the Halo’s? It’s no coincidence that one of his best friends, Yadier Molina, signed an extension wi the Cardinals not long before those rumors surfaced. When Albert signed with the Angels the first thing I said is Yadi will probably be next with Albert leaving so his extension was a pleasant surprise at the time. But it all makes sense now.

  7. favrewillplay4ever - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    Hindsight being 20/20, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that Pujols regrets leaving for the money.

  8. wisbadgfan - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    Adam Wainwright is a classy guy——it is very refreshing to see a player happy about his decision even though the market condtions now would have allowed him to get a higher return.

    We see too many players sell out for every last dollar they can get, and somewhere down the line come to regret the decision they made.

    I cant blame a player who chooses to take the best offer he gets—–it makes fiscal sense. Yet to see a player like Wainwright factor into his decision love of the community, the organization, and the fans, makes you appreciate this man.

    I am not a Cardinal fan, but I certainly now an Adam Wainwright fan.

  9. louhudson23 - Jan 19, 2014 at 3:56 AM

    Wainwrights comments are spot on. I have written this almost verbatim,time and time again here in response to a a players actions in getting caught up in chasing the last dollar.Congrats to him. Contentment has no dollar value.

  10. sawxalicious - Jan 19, 2014 at 5:12 AM

    I am first and foremost a Red Sox fan, Cubs fan second. That being said, the Yankees and Cardinals are my sworn enemies. But I have to say, each team has a player I absolutely hate to see do well against my teams, but I respect the heck out of them. Derek Jeter from the Yansk, and Wainwright from the Cards. I now have even a little more respect for Wainwright, as his comments show he can put the game and salaries into perspective. He didn’t whine about “not being shown respect” like Pujols….like it or not, the combination of leaving a pretty decent and storied franchise (can’t believe I typed that) combined with his declining skills leave Albert’s legacy tarnished.

  11. Carl Hancock - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Every dollar the player doesn’t get just goes into the owners pocket? It also can go towards other players to build a winning team. Wainwright and Molina want to win and play for an organization with a winning tradition. They understand they could have both gotten top dollar as Free Agents but that doesn’t mean they would have as good a chance to win nor be as happy playing for the highest bidder. Albert, on the other hand, let his agent and others such as his wife equate the value of the contract with respect with total disregard for the financially stability of the team as a whole. People seem to forget the Cardinals are not a big market team. They don’t have the money that the LA, NY or Chicago teams have. Had they given Albert a 10 year deal they wouldn’t have been able to extend Wainwright, Molina and Craig. As a Cardinal fan I wanted Albert to retire a Cardinal. But I first and foremost want the team to be fiscally responsible in order to be able to field a winning team consistently. Wainwright and Molina understand that and a big contributor to them understanding that is Albert’s experience. They both signed great deals without chasing the highest bidder via free agency to continue playing for a team they know is going to be competitive for years to come and an environment that they feel comfortable in. As a result this is now their team. Wainwright is the leader of the pitching staff and Molina is the heart and soul of the team as a whole. People always assumed Pujols was the heart of this team, but it was Molina. The Cardinals lost Pujols and they didn’t miss a beat. Had they lost Molina it would be a completely different story.

  12. perryt200 - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Right after Albert went to the Angels he had a slump. He actually ended up getting boo’ed.

    That would have never happened in StL.

    When ex-Cardinals show up they get a round of applause if not a standing O. In the playoffs the Cards pitcher stepped off the mound so an ex could enjoy his standing O. It lasted almost to the point of embarrassment to the player.

    Adam Wainwright knows he could give up 5 runs in the first inning, be pulled, and still have someone come up shake his hand and buy his dinner the next night.

    Why have any regrets when you work with the Best Fans?

    • skins51186 - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      I’m impressed. You’ve successfully sucked yourself off. We get it, Cardinals fans are the best. Now go tell Sam Bradford he’d look great in a CFL uniform.

  13. aceshigh11 - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Now that’s a class act right there.

  14. proudlycanadian - Jan 18, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    If you are a 20 year old “writer”, why are you constantly reblogging someone else’s words. Writers get into trouble for plagiarism. Can’t you use your own words?

  15. jcmeyer10 - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    Damn Millennials.

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