The Seattle Mariners extended Felix Hernandez‘s contract on Thursday and many St. Louis Cardinal fans reacted quickly, feeling Adam Wainwright‘s price tag just went up. The problem with that thought is simple, Hernandez is no Wainwright, he’s much, much better.
Hernandez agreed to a deal that will keep him in Seattle for a reported financial windfall to the tune of seven years and $175 million.
That is not to say that Adam Wainwright is not a very good pitcher, we all know that he is. It is not to say that Adam Wainwright will not be a very wealthy man when his contract is resolved, he most likely will. But to say that Wainwright’s price will be based off of Hernandez’s price is a bit absurd.
Both of them debuted in the same year for the team they still play for, the Mariners and Cardinals respectively, and both were due to hit free agency at the same time, after the 2013 season. That is where the comparisons end, however.
We can start with the obvious point of age. Hernandez (26) is five years a junior to Wainwright (31). If you are giving a seven year deal to a pitcher, you would do so to a pitcher Hernandez’s age, not Wanwright’s. Beyond that, Hernandez has not spent any significant time on the disabled list, has substantially better career numbers, and has earned many more accolades than his St. Louis counterpart.
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That graph shows two very good pitchers. It also shows one with an injury history, that is older, and is not quite on the same level.
Hernandez translated his career into a $25 million a year payout. Wainwright will probably look to translate his into $20 million a year for a much shorter period of time.
Calm down, Cardinal Fans, the price of King Felix had little to no impact on the cost of Adam Wainwright. That price was set before and I highly doubt it moved at all with this news.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
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