Skip to content

Cardinals sign Allen Craig to $31 million contract extension

Mar 8, 2013, 10:50 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants v St Louis Cardinals - Game Four Getty Images

Allen Craig was very productive as a part-timer in 2011 and had a breakout year stepping into the starting lineup last season, and now the Cardinals have locked him up long term.

Craig has agreed to a five-year contract that includes a team option for 2018, so he’s now under the Cardinals’ control through age 33. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the deal is worth $31 million in guaranteed money.

While technically a five-year deal, the contract includes this season and then covers all three of Craig’s arbitration-eligible seasons (2014-2016) plus his first season of free agency (2017). And then the Cardinals get an option year on his second season of free agency (2018).

It’s a big commitment to a guy who didn’t play regularly in the majors until age 25, but Craig has been one of the best hitters in baseball over the past two seasons while batting .309 with 33 homers, 50 doubles, and an .889 OPS in 733 plate appearances. Among all MLB hitters with at least 600 plate appearances during that time Craig ranks 12th in batting average, 14th in slugging percentage, and 18th in OPS.

Latest Posts
  1. Angels could trade Howie Kendrick or David Freese for pitching

    Oct 31, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT

    Howie Kendrick Howie Kendrick

    The Angels are expected to address their pitching needs by making Howie Kendrick or David Freese available in a trade.

  2. Blue Jays sign Jeff Francis to a minor league deal

    Oct 31, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT

    Jeff Francis Jeff Francis

    Veteran lefty Jeff Francis has agreed to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training with the Blue Jays.

  3. Blue Jays exercise $6.7 million option on J.A. Happ

    Oct 31, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT

    J.A. Happ J.A. Happ

    The Blue Jays will exercise a $6.7 million club option on J.A. Happ for the 2015 season.

  4. Byron Buxton underwent surgery to repair dislocated finger

    Oct 31, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT

    Byron Buxton Byron Buxton

    Twins prospect Byron Buxton had surgery on Thursday to repair a dislocated middle finger on his left hand.

  5. Orioles decline their half of the 2015 mutual option for Nick Markakis

    Oct 31, 2014, 9:05 PM EDT

    Nick Markakis Nick Markakis

    Nick Markakis is a free agent after the Orioles declined their half of a $17.5 million mutual option for the 2015 season.

  6. Pablo Sandoval: “I want to wear [a Giants jersey] for the rest of my career.”

    Oct 31, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT

    Pablo Sandoval Pablo Sandoval

    Pablo Sandoval says he wants to retire a Giant. He’s a free agent and is expected to sign a lengthy, expensive contract.

  7. Dodgers decline $14 million option on Chad Billingsley’s contract

    Oct 31, 2014, 7:35 PM EDT

    Chad Billingsley Chad Billingsley

    Chad Billingsley is now a free agent after the Dodgers declined their club option for the 2015 season.

  8. Colby Lewis to test free agency after inability to reach deal with Rangers

    Oct 31, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Colby Lewis Colby Lewis

    Colby Lewis will test free agency after he and the Rangers couldn’t strike a deal.

  9. Jockey gave away “Mad Bum” underwear to Giants fans

    Oct 31, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    Madison Bumgarner Madison Bumgarner

    Madison Bumgarner’s post-season performance prompted Jockey to make underwear with “Mad Bum” on the backside, a special gift to Giants fans at Friday’s World Series parade in San Francisco.

  10. Rockies exercise option on 42-year-old LaTroy Hawkins

    Oct 31, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

    LaTroy Hawkins Getty Images

    This season Hawkins became one of 16 pitchers in MLB history with 1,000 or more appearances and if healthy he’ll move into the top 10 next season.

  11. Rangers decline Alex Rios’ $13.5 million option

    Oct 31, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT

    Alex Rios AP AP

    Rios is now a free agent coming off a season in which he hit .280 with four homers and a .709 OPS in 131 games.

  12. The Cubs to announce the hiring of Joe Maddon on Monday

    Oct 31, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Joe Maddon Getty Getty Images

    The end of this awkward, orchestrated process is in sight.

  13. Rays exercise $7.5 million option on Ben Zobrist

    Oct 31, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT

    New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Getty Images

    He’ll be eligible for free agency next offseason at age 34.

  14. Blue Jays claim Andy Dirks off waivers from Tigers

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    Andy Dirks AP

    Dirks missed the entire season following back surgery and then a hamstring injury.

  15. The Giants victory parade is going on . . . now!

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    giants logo

    Go O.D. on some hot trolley action.

  16. Eric Chavez joins the Yankees as special assignment scout

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Getty Images

    Chavez played for the Yankees in 2011 and 2012.

  17. HBT Daily: One last look back at the World Series and a look ahead at the Hot Stove Season

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    Our last HBT Daily of the year gives a brief taste of the coming winter.

Featured video

Final take away from World Series
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Pence (2173)
  2. Y. Cespedes (2123)
  3. J. Panik (2026)
  4. M. Morse (2000)
  5. M. Moustakas (1953)