Cardinals and Wainwright Agree to 2021 Contract


ST. LOUIS, MO. – January 29, 2021– The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have agreed to terms with free-agent pitcher Adam Wainwright on a one-year contract for the upcoming 2021 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wainwright, 39, will be entering his 17th season with the Cardinals in 2021, matching Bob Gibson (17 years, 1959-75) for the 2nd-most seasons as a pitcher in a Redbirds uniform. Jesse Haines (18 years, 1920-37) is the only Cardinals pitcher with more years.

“We are pleased to announce that Adam is returning for the upcoming season, and we look forward to seeing him continue to add to his great Cardinals legacy,” stated Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak.  “While he continues to pitch at a high level, Adam also remains a highly-respected team leader who has committed himself to being a wonderful ambassador for both the game and his community.”

Wainwright ranks 3rd all-time among Cardinals in wins (167), 2nd in strikeouts (1,830) and 6th in innings pitched (2,169.1). The two-time World Series Champion (2006 & 2011) and three-time All-Star (2010, 2013, 2014) ranks 7th among active pitchers in wins, 11th in strikeouts, and 8th in ERA (3.38), despite missing significant time due to injury in 2011, 2015 and 2018.

Wainwright paced St. Louis in wins (5), starts (10), strikeouts (54), and innings pitched (65.2) last season, while ranking among NL leaders in wins (T8th), ERA (3.15, 10th), complete games (2, T1st), quality starts (7, T8th), average against (.221, 9th), WHIP (1.05, 7th), win percentage (.625, T12th), Hits/9 IP (7.40, 9th), and base runners/9 IP (9.73, 8th). He threw 6.0 or more innings in eight starts and 7.0 or more innings in four.

“Uncle Charlie” celebrated his 39th birthday by hurling his 23rd career complete game and 200th quality start in a 7-2 win over Cleveland at Busch Stadium on August 30. The right-hander allowed four hits for a pair of runs and fanned nine in 9.0 innings in his first complete game since 2016, which also coincided with Yadier Molina appearing in his 2,000th career game. At age 39, and also as the oldest active pitcher in the National League, Adam became the oldest Cardinal to earn a win in a complete game since Chuck Finley (39.274) in 2002 and the oldest to throw a complete game win with nine or more strikeouts since Dazzy Vance (42.183) at Chicago in 1933.

Three starts later, Wainwright tossed his 24th career complete game in a 4-2 win at Milwaukee (9/16/20 – Game 1), becoming the fourth pitcher age 39 or older to throw two complete games in a single season since 2010 (R.A. Dickey, Bartolo Colon, Jamie Moyer) and the first Cardinal to do so since Jim Kaat (six in 1980).

A former Rawlings Gold Glove (2009 & 2013) and National League Silver Slugger (2017) award winner, Wainwright owns a career mark of 167-98 with a 3.38 ERA in 393 games (326 starts) covering 2,169.1 innings pitched.  He is the Cardinals all-time leader in postseason games pitched (28) and strikeouts (118) and was on the mound for the Cardinals World Series and National League Championship Series clinching wins in 2006.

Adam was named the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award this past November, recognizing him for his many contributions both on and off the field.

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