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St. Louis Cardinals Sign Matt Carpenter to Extension

The St. Louis Cardinals have extended the contract of third baseman Matt Carpenter until 2021.

Before Wednesday’s 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cardinals announced the extension for the three-time All-Star. According to Mark Saxon, the 33-year-old Carpenter will receive $39 million during 2020 and 2021. There is a one-year vesting option, as well. If he gets 1100 plate appearances over those two seasons — with at least 550 in 2021 — he will automatically be extended for a year, receiving another $18.5 million.

Carpenter’s Numbers

Carpenter, hitting .273/.376/.469 in his career, has been a solid hitter since his breakout season in 2013. He hit 55 doubles that year, breaking the franchise record for doubles in a season by a left-handed batter. (The previous record, 53, was held by the great Stan Musial.) In 2018, he hit a career-high 36 home runs, and in the second game of the current season, he earned his 1000th hit. A downside of his performance as a leadoff hitter, however, comes from the lack of stolen bases. Carpenter has only 19 in his entire career. His defense is not as strong, with his career fielding percentage as a third baseman coming in at .956.

Infield Stability

This deal comes 17 days after the Cardinals gave a five-year, $130 million extension to 1B Paul Goldschmidt, who arrived in an off-season trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Goldschmidt and Carpenter have a combined nine All-Star appearances. By locking in Carpenter until at least 2021, they have guaranteed stability at the corners of the infield. They are set until probably 2021 at second base, also, as defensive specialist Kolten Wong is under contract through 2020 with a club option in 2021. This puts them in great position against the rest of the National League.

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