The Cardinals officially announced Adam Wainwright’s new deal. As reported last night, Wainwright gets a five-year, $97.5 million contract. And a kicker that wasn’t reported: a no-trade clause.
The no-trade clause is not as risk in Wainwright’s case as it usually is because it’s really only meaningful for two of those five years. After 2014 Wainwright will achieve 10/5 status, meaning that he’s been in the league for ten years overall and with his current team for five years or more. Once that happens he has an automatic blanket no-trade clause pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Wainwright, 31, posted a 3.94 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 184/52 K/BB ratio across 198 2/3 innings in 2012. Now, one more year removed from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery surgery, he feels like someone poised for a big year.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.
Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.
Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.
Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.