The St. Louis Cardinals announced today the agreement of a six-year contract extension with Matt Carpenter, which will keep the third baseman in a Cardinals uniform through at least the 2019 season–with a club option for 2020.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that insures Matt will remain a Cardinal on a long-term basis,” said Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. in the team’s press release. “He is an All-Star caliber player, and an integral part of the nucleus of this club which we feel can continue to contend for championships in 2014 and beyond.”
Carpenter took over as the Cardinals lead-off man last season and was selected for the 2013 All-Star team by his peers despite moving to a new position in second base. He was also honored with the Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award as voted on by National League managers and coaches and finished fourth in the N.L.’s Most Valuable Player voting.
The 28-year old hit.318 last season–which ranked 5th among all National League players. Carpenter also led the majors in runs scored (126), hits (199), doubles (55) and multi-hit games (63). His 55 doubles were the most ever by a Cardinals second baseman and set the franchise record for a left-handed batter, breaking Stan Musial’s mark of 53 in 1953.
“Matt has inserted himself as a leader in the Cardinals clubhouse with his dedication and work ethic serving as a fine example to everyone,” stated Cardinals Senior Vice President/ General Manager John Mozeliak. “His commitment to switching to a new position last season resulting in an All-Star season and Silver Slugger Award, proved once again what kind of person and player that Matt is.”
Carpenter hit .388 with runners in scoring position last season and his 69 RBI from the lead-off position were the most by a Cardinals #1 batter since Lou Brock had 76 in 1967. Of his league-best 199 hits, 112 came at home, establishing a Busch Stadium III single-season hits record.
Signing a core player to an extension has been a regularity for the Cardinals as Carpenter joins Allen Craig, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina among those who have signed recent contract extensions that carry thru 2017 or beyond.