Rosenthal tweeted the news on Wednesday:
Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal
Sources: Wainwright, #STLCards in agreement on five-year, $97.5M extension that will run from 2014 to '18.3/27/2013, 10:27:44 PM
UPDATE: Thursday, March 28 at 1:45 p.m. ET by Ryan Rudnansky
It's not all about the money for Wainwright. Apparently he loves it in St. Louis.
Wainwright said after signing his extension with the Cardinals, via the Toronto Sun:
I feel like my heart is in St. Louis. I love it there. I love driving to the field, seeing the arch, driving up and seeing Busch Stadium. It’s a treat to work there every day and is something that continues to catch me off-guard. It makes me feel like I am way too blessed, more than I deserve.
---End of update---
The deal all but assures that the 31-year-old right-hander will be a Cardinal for life after breaking in with the club in 2005. Wainwright was set to enter free agency after the 2013 campaign.
Wainwright has posted an 80-48 record with a 3.15 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 908 strikeouts in 1,073 innings over his career with the Cardinals.
Last year, the former All-Star and two-time World Series champion registered a 14-13 record with a 3.94 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 184 strikeouts in 198.2 innings. The Cardinals went 88-74 during the regular season and made it all the way to the NLCS before falling to the San Francisco Giants.
The deal comes in the wake of 37-year-old starting pitcher Chris Carpenter going down with shoulder and neck injuries. Carpenter recently said that he doesn't think he will play baseball again, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
St. Louis ranked an impressive fourth in starters' ERA last season, but losing a former NL Cy Young winner in Carpenter will be a tough blow for the club. The Cardinals currently have a one-two punch of Wainwright and 26-year-old left-hander Jaime Garcia, with Lance Lynn, Jake Westbrook and Shelby Miller as the projected starters on the back end, according to Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts (via BaseballProspectus.com).
The massive investment in Wainwright is a bit of a risky move for the Cardinals, given the pitcher's age and the fact that his productivity dipped slightly last season, but it's hard to fault the team for making the deal after all he has done for the franchise.