After news broke that Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw had signed a seven-year, $215-million extension that made him the highest-paid pitcher ever and set other records for baseball salary, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright sent him a congratulatory text. It was not green with envy. "Heck no. No. Not at all. I’m happy for him. Absolutely not. I was so happy to go into this offseason and not have to worry about being a free agent," Wainwright said. "I’m right where I want to be. People ask me the same thing about the deal I signed before. Do you have any regrets about signing the deal early? I have no regrets. Once I signed that deal, that was the deal I wanted to sign. I didn’t have to sign it. We worked to get to a number where I felt made it fair for both sides. This is where I wanted to be. Do I think I could have made more money on the free agent market? Absolutely. "But you can’t buy happiness," Wainwright concluded. "I’m not going to be happier anywhere else than where I am right now." Wainwright and Kershaw have been friendly for several years, and this winter Wainwright has made Kershaw a franchisee for the Waino's World charity initiative. Kershaw will run a fantasy football league in Los Angeles to raise money for a local charity and help Wainwright raise money for an international fresh-water fund. Max Scherzer has also agreed to launch a Waino's World franchise in Detroit. There are other major-league cities that will also have players involved in running Waino's World leagues. During spring training last year, the Cardinals and Wainwright negotiated an extension worth $98 million. Throughout the process, both sides stated repeatedly that they did not want Wainwright to get to the open market. The Cardinals wanted to sign him and cement him as their longterm ace. Wainwright wanted the stability that comes with staying in the place where he started his big-league career and has thrived as a result of it. The price point was the only difficulty. They found it at a five-year, $97.5-million extension. Both sides know Wainwright could have gotten more this winter in a free-agent market that has been slow moving for starters, but rich, rich and now with Kershaw's deal ... very rich.
In wake of Kershaw's jackpot, does Waino have regrets?
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Jan 19