Cards make it official with Wainwright

The St. Louis Cardinals made it official on Thursday and announced a new five-year contract for pitcher Adam Wainwright.

Financial terms were not disclosed, although the Cardinals did indicate it is the largest contract in franchise history for a pitcher. Multiple media outlets, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, on Wednesday said the deal is worth close to $100 million.

"Adam represents everything the Cardinals look for in a player," said Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr in a statement Thursday. "He is an elite pitcher with a tremendous work ethic, a great teammate and leader, and a winning, championship caliber player. He has the highest personal qualities and personifies the Cardinals tradition of excellence."

Wainwright missed the entire 2011 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, but bounced back with a 14-13 record last year and a 3.94 earned run average in 198 2/3 innings over 32 starts.

The 31-year-old right-hander was a reliever during his rookie year of 2006 and closed out the NLCS against the New York Mets before doing the same in the World Series against Detroit. He joined the rotation the following year.

Wainwright owns a career mark of 80-48 with a 3.15 ERA in 214 games, 151 of which have been starts. He led the National League with 19 wins in 2009 and was second with 20 wins in 2010, the year he earned his first All-Star nod and finished second in the Cy Young balloting.

"Knowing that Adam Wainwright will be the centerpiece of our rotation for years to come is something that we are thrilled about for many reasons," said Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak. "Adam has certainly proven to be a true staff ace, and the leadership and mentoring that he provides will continue to be an invaluable asset to the organization."

Wainwright's six-year deal he signed in 2008 was set to expire at the end of the 2013 campaign.