Since John Mozeliak became St. Louis’ general manager after the 2007 season, four Major League players have signed extensions during the month of September and all of them have been Cardinals. Kyle Lohse (2008), Ryan Franklin (2009), Trever Miller (2009) and, now, Chris Carpenter all signed multiyear deal with St. Louis during the final month of the regular season.
Teams and players agree to most extensions during the first half of the calendar year, after the free agent frenzy calms down and before the regular season builds much momentum. Many players do agree to extensions during the season, but September is generally a quiet month for the deals. Not so for the Cardinals. Mozeliak told me that he's “just trying to get a head start on the offseason,” which makes sense given what lies ahead.
Albert Pujols, the Cardinals’ franchise player, hits free agency this offseason. The Cards will have to devote much of their attention to the negotiations with Dan Lozano, the agent for the three-time MVP. They’ve answered questions about their 2012 rotation by locking Carpenter up, so their offseason outlook becomes that much simpler.
John McDonald (Blue Jays, 2007), Ryan Dempster (Cubs, 2005), Scott Rolen (Cardinals, 2002) and Vladimir Guerrero (Expos, 1998) are other prominent MLB players who signed September extensions at one point.