JUPITER, Fla. — Matt Carpenter called agreeing to a new $52 million, six-year deal with St. Louis a no-brainer. The Cardinals are hoping their third baseman sticks even longer than that.
“He’s the type of player you’d like to think could finish his career as a Cardinal,” St. Louis chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt said Saturday.
St. Louis began contract talks with Carpenter in August. Both sides characterized the negotiations smooth.
“It was not one of those where we were sitting there debating all of Matt’s faults or his weaknesses, because there weren’t any,” St. Louis General Manager John Mozeliak said. “He’s really a special person not only on the field but off the field.”
The deal includes a team option for a seventh year in 2020 at $18.5 million. Should the St. Louis decline the option, they would pay Carpenter a $2 million buyout.
“For a baseball junkie like myself, I can’t think of a better place to play than the city of St. Louis,” Carpenter said. “Busch Stadium, I still pinch myself every time I make that drive to the field. Playing in front of these fans, the city of St. Louis, Cardinal baseball as a whole, it’s just so much fun. It’s such a privilege to put on this jersey. It’s something I don’t take lightly at all.”
Carpenter’s agent, Bryan Cahill, said the 28-year-old received a $1 million signing bonus and he’ll make $1.5 million this season. The salary escalates each year, reaching $14.5 million in 2019.
Carpenter hit .318 while leading the National League in hits (199), doubles (55) and runs (126) last season and playing mostly second base. He is moving back to third this season, where he has played most of his professional career.
He earned his first All-Star selection in 2013 and finished fourth in MVP voting. A 13th round draft choice out of TCU in 2009, Carpenter’s first full season in the majors was 2012.