3 Cardinals contracts we were happy to see end, and 2 we're still eager to see expire
By Eric Treuden
We were happy to see Matt Carpenter's contract expire.
Carpenter spent the first 11 years of his big league career in St. Louis and became a hero in that time, his inclusion on this list is tough but necessary nonetheless.
Not only did he lead the league in doubles twice, but he was also the major league leader in hits and runs scored back in 2013 and led the NL in walks in 2014 with 95. He made two All-Star Game appearances, earned MVP votes on three separate occasions, and had a 122 OPS+ in over 1,300 games with the Cardinals.
All of Carpenter's success with the Cardinals happened before he turned 34. In 2020, his age-34 season, his numbers began to dip into uncharted territory. He didn't look like himself the year prior but he remained a solid contributor in the lineup, but the wheels fell off in the COVID-shortened season.
In 50 games, Carp saw his average dip to .186 and he paired with an OPS+ of 79, meaning he was 21 percent below league average. In 2021, the second season of the two-year, $39M extension he signed early on in the 2019 campaign, he got even worse. This time around, he played 130 games and hit just three home runs with a batting average of .169 and an OPS+ of 63.
Unfortunately, Carpenter's storied Cardinals career ended with a whimper rather than a bang. He has since found success in a 47-game showing with the Yankees last year and turned that into a multi-year pact with the San Diego Padres.