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Cardinals talking contract extension with Matt Carpenter

Mar 6, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

World Series - Boston Red Sox v St Louis Cardinals - Game Three Getty Images

Matt Carpenter had a breakout season in 2013, handling a position switch to second base just fine and hitting .318 while leading the league in hits (199), doubles (55), and runs scored (126).

Now this season he’s moving again, this time to third base, and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the 28-year-old is also talking to the Cardinals about a long-term contract extension.

Because he didn’t become a regular in the majors until age 26 he’s still making the minimum salary and Carpenter is under the Cardinals’ control through 2017, so for any extension to buy out his eventual free agency it would have to go for at least four years.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of says it’ll be a six-year contract worth around $50 million.

  1. ereed1286 - Mar 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Do it!

  2. paperlions - Mar 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    The scary thing is going to be the picking and choosing to extend Miller and Wacha and Rosenthal and Lynn and Martinez and Kelly and….well, you get the idea. For better or worse, they have a bunch of other guys knocking on the door that aren’t even getting a chance to start. Lyons and Cooney are both ready to start in the majors now, and a couple of other guys are coming up right behind them. So….I guess there are plenty of options and no need to keep everyone…but the process of figuring out who to keep is going to be painful.

    • spudchukar - Mar 6, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      Since a large part of a team’s revenue comes from TV deals, and the Cards is up for renewal in a couple of years, the timing should match up fairly well. This leads me to another thought. I recently heard that the St. Louis viewing audience ranked #2 in America, and has maintained a top 3 ranking for years. With that in mind, creating a local network like NESN or YES, would seem to behoove the Redbirds. Has anyone heard any rumors along these lines?

      • forsch31 - Mar 6, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        The Cardinals’ tv contract runs through 2017. According to this 2012 article by Goold, the Cardinals don’t expect to ever be in the upper echelon of tv revenue. Even though they usually rank in the top 3 in local ratings, their tv market is ranked 23rd out of 30 teams.

      • paperlions - Mar 6, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        It would be hard. NESN and YES, both of which I get locally, have a LOT of other sports to cover, college and pro basketball, hockey, and baseball occur on both of them. It seems like it would be really hard for the Cardinals to develop programming to fill a schedule based on StL area sports.

      • ultimatecardinalwarrior - Mar 6, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        I haven’t heard anything, but I doubt their own RSN would be worth it in the St. Louis market. I mean the Yankees just sold most of YES because (I’m assuming) they weren’t finding it as profitable as they’d like, and the New York market is over 10 times the size of St. Louis. A new deal with FSMW is probably the way to go.

      • gostlcards5 - Mar 6, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        Not sure why that would be, paper. On your list, the only thing StL doesn’t have is pro basketball.

        Of course, they would have to get deals made to actually cover the other sports….

      • paperlions - Mar 6, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        The other thing they don’t have are those things that do not already have a TV contract as well as a TV market that can support that type of programming enough to turn a profit. They’d have to be willing to invest in all of the necessary infrastructure and then wait until different sports became available and out-bid the competition for them, find fill-in programming in the mean time, and be willing to lose money during all of that time until the entire venture became profitable. I’m not saying it isn’t possible, but it is more risky and would require much greater investment than just signing over the rights and cashing the checks.

      • spudchukar - Mar 6, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        Which is why the idea needs to be explored now, not in a couple of years. Couldn’t the local coverage, and regional be co-joined? Maybe it isn’t feasible, but with all that revenue out there, somebody ought to at least examine the opportunity.

      • paperlions - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        Yeah, I think that is how they usually come about and why individual teams usually only own part of the network, teams throw in with each other and a production company. I’d be shocked if they hadn’t spent hundreds of thousands of dollars paying someone to run the numbers to explore the possibilities already.

    • okwhitefalcon - Mar 6, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Indeed paper, extensions and who will be “kept” for lack of a better term will be borderline excruciating.

      And I agree, Lyons is ready for prime time full time (not sure about Cooney yet) – both will get the majority of their work in Memphis until needed.

      I suspect both will see STL at some point this year regardless.

  3. hushbrother - Mar 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    For a guy who came out of nowhere and had a Wade Boggs-like season for a pennant winning team he sure didn’t get much love from the MVP voters. I think he was more valuable than Yadier.

    • forsch31 - Mar 6, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Carpenter finished fourth in the MVP voting, so he got some love. You could argue that Molina took away some of his votes (similar to what happened with Pujols, Rolan, and Edmonds in the MV3 season).

    • cohnjusack - Mar 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      I don’t mean to diminish Carpenter who was flat out amazing last year, but you are underestimating a “Wade Boggs” season sir.

      Here are where Carpenter’s stats would rank in Boggs career

      BA: .318 — would rank as Boggs 11th best
      OBP: .392 — 10th
      SLG: .481 — 6th
      OPS: .873 — 9th
      OPS+: 143 — 6th
      WAR — 6.6 — 7th

      • paperlions - Mar 6, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        Yep, he was amazing…even more amazing when you realize that he spent most of his career and all of his prime in a low run-scoring era.

  4. gibbyfan - Mar 6, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    Wise move Mo –don’t want to lose Carp…….I think teams with relatively limited dollars such as Card and Atlanta and others have to take the approach of picking the stars and signing them early.

  5. nsstlfan - Mar 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Fox Sports Net already runs like 152 games every year so it’s almost like having their own station.

    • paperlions - Mar 6, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      Except that FSN makes money on those broadcasts, meaning if the Cardinal had their own RSN, they would make all of the money, not just the share they get from FSN.

      • okwhitefalcon - Mar 6, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        With the acquisitions of a majority of their minor league affiliates they’re moving to a totally self contained organizational business model, an RSN (if viable) would definitely be a way to maximize profits if additional programming options were available.

      • paperlions - Mar 6, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        To be clear, I would LOVE to see them move to a RSN model, especially if it meant they would televise a lot of MiLB games from the affiliates they own, even on tape delay, those games would be fun to watch.

      • okwhitefalcon - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        How cool would that be?

        I’d be all over MiLB telecasts.

        There’s also been some random speculation about aligning themselves with the Blues as an RSN partner but that seems a longshot, more talking head back ‘n forth than substance for the most part.

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