With the 29th pick of the MLB Draft back in 2000, the Atlanta Braves took starter Adam Wainwright. But he would never pitch for them. Just over three years later, they would trade him, Ray King and Jason Marquis to the St. Louis Cardinals for J.D. Drew Eli Marrero. For both the Cardinals and Wainwright, the move has worked out pretty well.
Over the course of his 14-year career, Wainwright would finish top 5 in Cy Young voting four times. He has three All-Star appearances to his name as well. Plus, a World Series title back in 2006.
And according to an ESPN report, he’s coming back for one more season. The Cardinals made the announcement Thursday afternoon.
ONE MORE YEAR!
The #STLCards have agreed to terms with veteran pitcher @UncleCharlie50 on a one-year contract for next season. Wainwright will enter his 15th season with the Cardinals in 2019, matching Bob Forsch for the third-most as a pitcher in a Redbirds uniform. pic.twitter.com/pf23XN3jgS
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) October 11, 2018
It’s been a rough few seasons for Wainwright, however. From 2016 through 2018, he has an ERA/FIP of 4.77/4.09. Injuries would limit him to just eight starts this past season as well. But at 37 years old, this is probably it. That said, the Cardinals are happy to have him back.
“Adam represents everything we think of when asked to describe a winning player, and a winning teammate,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. “His value to our team stretches far beyond the box score, and he showed by season’s end that he is still ready and able to compete.”
But here’s the thing: his ERA/FIP numbers from 2018 don’t look great. However, his DRA (3.78) looks a little better. That said, his WHIP has been 1.40 or higher over the past three seasons. That’s a problem. In more of a full season the year prior — 23 starts in 2017 — Wainwright went 123.1 innings, finishing with a 5.11 ERA, 4.30 FIP and 4.86 DRA.
We don’t know what his role will be in 2019, but it looks like Wainwright will finish his MLB career as a one-team player.