right handed cardinals Adam Wainwright spoke to the media today, including Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democraton the heels of the announcement that he and the club had agreed a contract for 2023. Discussing the deal, Wainwright admitted that 2023 will be his last season.
“I could tell you yes, but then there’s a lot of fuss you have to go through,” Wainwright said in response to a question about whether this would be his last race. Bottom line: yes, this will be the last. Everyone relax, don’t freak out about it.”
Before 2022, other cardinal legends Yadier Molina Y Albert Pujols announced that they were entering their respective final seasons. There was much speculation that Wainwright might eventually decide to ride off into the sunset with them, but instead decided to prepare for another campaign, which will evidently be his last. Wainwright turned 41 in August and will therefore retire shortly after his 42nd birthday.
Wainwright currently has 195 career wins and will certainly break the 200 plateau as long as he can stay healthy. However, he is setting his sights higher than that. “The number I’m looking at is not 200, the number is 210,” Wainwright said, according to jones. Getting to 210 would allow Wainwright to tie Jesse Haines for second on the Cardinals’ all-time list, trailing only Bob Gibson’s 251. Wainwright also added that he would like to catch John Smoltzwho recorded 213 career wins.
Regardless of how the 2023 campaign ultimately goes, Wainwright will end up with an excellent professional resume. Making his debut in 2005, he has already appeared in 457 games, starting 390 of them and recording 2,567 1/3 innings. He has a 3.38 career ERA during that time and had 2,147 strikeouts. He made three All-Star teams, won a pair of Gold Gloves and was a World Series champion in 2006 and 2011 (although he missed the entirety of the final championship season due to Tommy John surgery). That’s already a tremendous run, though he’ll have one more season to try to add to his personal accomplishments and grab one last World Series ring before he hangs up his spikes.