Cardinals sign Adam Wainwright to 5-year, $97.5M extension

Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Adam Wainwright hasn't returned to his ace form since Tommy John surgery, but the St. Louis Cardinals gave him an extension worth nearly $100 million.

Adam Wainwright will get his payday: the 31-year-old sinkerballer will get nearly $100 million from the Cardinals under a deal that will keep him in St. Louis through 2018.

The news is courtesy of Ken Rosenthal:

Wainwright, in line to get $12 million this year and become a free agent after the next season, hasn't yet returned to the strong pitching he displayed before a Tommy John surgery cost him his 2011 season. In 2009 and 2010, he finished third and second in National League Cy Young voting, posting ERAs under 3.00 each season. Then came the surgery, and Wainwright's team won the World Series with him out. After returning, he posted a 3.94 ERA - his highest in a full season - and winning just 14 games against 13 losses.

Despite a rough year compared to his pre-surgery standard, it's still reasonable to expect to be Wainwright to be a strong pitcher - likely the best the Cardinals have to offer. And although he gave up more runs, his strikeout and walk ratios remained relatively steady in between 2010 and 2011 - not necessarily the worst news for a sinkerballer who pitches to contact.

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