[caption id="attachment_26818" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Adam Wainwright March 2013 USA TODAY Sports[/caption]

It has been confirmed that right-hander Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals have reached an agreement that will keep the star pitcher in St. Louis through 2018. The two sides have agreed on a five-year extension that will begin after this season.

Reports say that the deal is worth $97.5 million. The 31 year-old is already under contract to earn $12 million in 2013. The Cardinals have not confirmed the report, but did announce that they have scheduled a news conference for 9 a.m. CT on Thursday.

Wainwright went 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA in 2012, his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Since 2007, he has the sixth-lowest ERA among Major League pitchers; his 3.15 career ERA is second best among all active pitchers with a minimum of 1,000 innings.

This signing really helps the Cardinals with the loss of Kyle Lohse to the division-rival Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals farm system is looking very impressive; they have tremendous talent to join the rotation lead by Wainwright, including Trevor Rosenthal and Shelby Miller.

It is known in Cardinals team history that they do not keep their good players for very long. This is a huge step for the organization that needed to be taken in order for them to make sure they would be a contender for years to come.

Also there is the loss of Chris Carpenter from the rotation, who's career may be in jeopardy due to numbing and tingling sensations in his pitching hand, arm and shoulder.

Keeping Wainwright, who is in the prime of his career and who only seems to be getting better and better, is a perfect way to begin the season where many people have such high expectations of them.


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