The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with 36-year-old pitcher Chris Carpenter. Although the deal has not yet become official, it is expected to be finalized within the next couple of days. According to several sources close to the situation, the extension is worth about $21 million, wiping out the team’s $15 million option on Carpenter for 2012. The new deal does not include any future options or incentives.
While both Carpenter and general manager John Mozeliak have declined comment at this point, it was acknowledged that a deal is in the works.
"I’m not going to say yes or no. There’s obviously something going on, but it’s not 100-percent done yet, and I don’t want to jinx it. I’m sure that tomorrow — or I’m hoping that tomorrow — I’ll have a lot more to say about it. I’ve said all along that I wanted to be here, and hopefully we’ll get this done and I’ll be able to be here for a while.~Chris Carpenter"
After getting off to a sluggish 1-7 this season in large part due to a lack of defensive and run support, Carp has bounced back nicely to stand at 9-9 with a 3.75 ERA and a team-high 164 strikeouts. He currently sits at fourth in the National League with 206.1 innings pitched.
Clearly, John Mozeliak is doing everything in his power to be proactive and get as much done before the end of the season as possible with the Albert Pujols free agency decision looming. After the club announced its intentions to pick up Adam Wainwright’s extension, next year’s rotation is already set with Edwin Jackson being the only question mark.
It would be nice to see Carpenter, who is currently pitching under a $63.5 million deal he signed after the 2006 World Series, finish his career in St. Louis. After being released from the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster in 2002, he has posted a 92-43 record with a 3.10 ERA and an NL Cy Young Award as a Redbird. He will pitch Tuesday night in Pittsburgh against the Pirates.