The decision by the St. Louis Cardinals front office to grant an extension to Matt Carpenter was the next step by John Mozeliak to solidify the team’s core for the next few years.

According to Jenifer Langosch of, the deal will make Carpenter a Cardinal through 2019 with an option for 2010, and it costs the team a total of $52 million.

The signing shows that the team sees Carpenter as a key part of the squad’s nucleus for years to come. He joins Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, Jhonny Peralta, Yadier Molina and Allen Craig as the only Cardinals locked up through 2016 or later.

That’s good company—especially for a player many doubted could handle second base in 2013. How did that work out again?

During the press conference announcing the deal, Bill Dewitt Jr. made reference to the fact that he would like to see Carpenter finish his career as a Cardinal. The decision to buy out a lock year, all three arbitration years and his first two years of free-agent eligibility is a step in the right direction. It shows that the Cardinals don’t believe what Carpenter accomplished in 2013 is a fluke and that they think the young man from Texas is, in fact, the real deal.

There are plenty of other reasons that it made sense for the Cardinals to lock up Carpenter early.

Here are a few thoughts.


*All stats are courtesy Baseball Reference and Cot’s Baseball Contracts as of March 8, 2014.

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