(CBS) Earlier this week, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny displayed his irritation over former Cardinal and newly signed Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward insinuating St. Louis’ core was aging, telling the Post-Dispatch, “I don’t think it’s going to ring too well with our club.”

On Tuesday, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright expressed a different take, saying he had no problem with Heyward pointing out that the Cardinals’ core of Wainwright, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina is north of 30. Instead, Wainwright thought Heyward didn’t want to take on the burden of being the Cardinals’ franchise player in a few years when the current core moves on.

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The Cardinals reportedly offered Heyward a deal worth $200 million. Heyward signed an eight-year, $184-million deal with the Cubs.

“When you look at that money that was offered to him, there’s really not much more our management can do than offer him that contract,” Wainwright told 101sports.com in St. Louis. “He knows that we’re going to be in a position to win every year. and what it comes down to is this: He didn’t want to play there after myself, and Yadier (Molina) and Matt (Holliday) were gone, on such a long contract. It really comes down to a personality trait to me. The person that we want to give that kind of money to, that big money to, he needs to be a person that wants to be the guy that carries the torch. He needs to be a guy that wants to be the person, that after we leave, he carries on the tradition. And that’s just a personality thing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But we’re looking for that guy who wants to be the man.”

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Holliday is 35, Wainwright is 34 and Molina is 33. In Chicago, the 26-year-old Heyward can play and develop with a core of players such as Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell who are all in their early-to-mid-20s.

Wainwright made clear he understands that.

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“We’re not mad about that at all,” Wainwright told 101sports.com. “We love Jason. And it really comes down to a personality trait. If he’s the guy wants to carry the torch, if he’s the guy that wants to be ‘The One’ — the cornerstone guy that you build a team around, then he takes that contract. But he wants to be a part of a system that he knows is going to be there for years and years. and there is nothing wrong with that. Listen, we know Jason so well. He is such a great teammate, and such a great guy. We love Jason. And he’s going to do great for Chicago. It just wasn’t the right situation for Jason and frankly it wasn’t the right situation for us. We’re going to find that guy and it may be somebody already there.”