Cards Lone Team To Embrace September Extensions

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.

21 Responses to Cards Lone Team To Embrace September Extensions Leave a Reply

  1. Jose_Bautista 4 years ago

    Good for him!

  2. ctownboy 4 years ago

    Considering how the first three players performed after the contract extensions maybe Mo shouldn’t be so quick offering these extensions.

    • I was thinking the same thing but Carpenter is different to me.  Lohse’s contract was the result of an extremely shallow upcoming SP FA pool and a desperate franchise’s need for SP.  Franklin was coming of an All-Star appearance and ’09 for Miller was absolutely superb.  

      Carpenter is coming off such an odd season.  He has shown ace quality stuff at points while looking like a BP pitcher at others.  His rise back from a 1-7 tough luck start has been impressive to watch and shows how much he has left in the tank.

      The deal looks to work for both sides.  Carpenter remains with an organization that has stayed with him through the lowest points in his career and gets two years of job security at $10.5 million per.  While the Cards (on paper) can write in one of the top five rotations in the league and have one less item to worry about during in the upcoming Pujols frenzy, and some more money to throw at him to boot

      I think Carp would have gotten more on the open market or if he would have waited for the off season so its pretty refreshing to see something like this during this day in age

      • ctownboy 4 years ago

        True, but…..

        if you look at Carpenter’s peripheral stats over the last three years they are getting worse.

        Opponent batting average against has gone up as has On Base Percentage
        BABIP has gone up
        Hits per nine Innings has gone up
        ERA+ has gone down
        Ground Outs versus Air Outs has gone down

        In short, it looks like he is becoming more hittable and those balls are getting into the air more than they did in the past.

        Add all of this to the fact that the team has no idea whether Wainwright can come back and be the Pitcher he used to be, they have no idea whether Garcia can consistently be effective if he throws more than five Innings per start, whether Westbrook is going to improve and whether Lohse is going to continue to perform well and the Starting Pitching has question marks for next year.

        Also, other than Pujols, the team needs to improve the Bull pen, needs to figure out if they are going to bring back Berkman and Furcal and if either of them can perform as well as they have this year with the team.

        Instead of signing Pujols, it might actually be better for the team if they let him go and do the following; bring Berkman back and let him play First Base.  Sign a Closer like Heath Bell or Papelbon.  Sign Rollins for Short Stop.  Sign Mark Buehrle.  Sign Josh Willingham for Left Field and let Holliday go back to RF.

        According to Cots baseball contract web page, the Cardinals had a team payroll of $109 million this year.  After re-signing Carpenter, they already have $62 million committed for 2012.  Do you think it is really economically feasible for the team to sign Pujols for $22 to $27 million per year, give the Arb eligible players pay raises and then sign some scrubs to fill in while keeping the team payroll at or below what it is this year and STILL have a competitive team?

        If you add Pujols, Berkman and the Short Stop positions 2011 stats together and then look at what they were paid, would the production drop much if it were Berkman, Rollins and Willingham in 2012?    

        • Matt Talken 4 years ago

          You’re cherrypicking stats.

          In 2011, his K/9 is better than both 2010 and his career line, his BB/9 and HR/9 are lower.  So he strikes out more, walks less and gives up fewer home runs.

          His BABIP has gone up, but you can explain that due to having a middle infield of Theriot and Schumaker behind him most of the season, who at SS and 2B respectively were both very bad defenders this season.  Poor middle infield defense and probably some bad luck led to a higher BABIP, which leads to higher H/9 and ERA+.

          The fielder independent stats are actually all BETTER in 2011.  His FIP and xFIP are both lower than 2010 and career lines, and he’s already put up more WAR than he did in 2010 (4.1 to 3.7).

          Also, I hope I’m not jinxing him, but considering he’s had 3 seasons in a row where he’s been healthy, he seems to be turning into a more durable starter these past few years as well, posting 192, 235 and (so far) 213 innings from 2009-2011.

          If Cards fans are expecting 2005 or 2009 Chris Carpenter, they’ll most likely be disappointed, but for $21M, I’d be happy to have 2011 Chris Carpenter give us two more years–especially if Furcal resigns and Theriot moves to 2nd, where he actually seems to be a plus defender (admittedly, his sample size at 2nd isn’t as big though)

          • Lanidrac 4 years ago

            Schumaker’s defense has been fine.  It’s mostly been Theriot, Rasmus, and the guys playing 2nd when Schumaker was on the DL who have hurt them defensively. Theriot, meanwhile, will probably be either non-tendered or traded this offseason.

            Anyway, Carpenter is no longer worth the $15M his option would’ve cost, but he’s still got plenty left in the tank as the Phillies saw tonight.

    • i am probably gonna get slammed by card fans but this guy is like 37? and you give him 10,11 mil for 2 years?money isnt too hateful but whats gonna happen if he goes way down….what is he a 2 or 3 at this point? he was great back in the day but i dunno about now

      • Redbirds16 4 years ago

        He probably would have gotten at least 3/33 on the open market. The guy is worth the price tag, and while he’s coming down from his elite years, he’s still darn good. This might be a bit counter-intuitive, but due to injury/rehabbing years, his arm is still quite fresh for his age. This season has been a strong one for him (as those with the advanced metrics will be quick to point out, I don’t really mess with that stuff) despite his record. 

    • Redbirds16 4 years ago

      In Mo’s defense, Lohse had a rather freak injury, he’s been strong this season (his first healthy season in a long time). Franklin had one good year, one bad, and the extension was for what 2 years/$6 million? Hardly an albatross contract. Miller had a good season last year and bombed this year, but his contract was similar to Franklin’s no? The Cards probably held on to Franklin and Miller a bit too long this year, but that’s neither here nor there.

      What really burns the Cards, in my opinion, are the contracts they sign depending on guys to perform under Dave Duncan, and then the players don’t (Kip Wells, Mike Maroth, and Brian Tallet come to mind). It’s not necessarily the money aspect of things, but rather the losses accumulated while waiting for these guys to ‘get things right’. 

      • Lanidrac 4 years ago

        Those exceptions are worth it when you consider all the value we’ve gained over the years with the many pitchers who have significantly improved under Dave Duncan.

        Maybe we held onto Franklin a little too long, although for a while he was improving, but Miller wasn’t bad enough to just release. Outside of the kind of trade we eventually pulled off, Miller was still by far our best option for lefty relief (which tells you something about our lefty depth in the minors).

  3. wwy 4 years ago

    Had Lohse not had the freak injury (hit on the forearm while bunting), his deal would look a lot better.

    • Jeffy25 4 years ago

      Not likely, that was a massive overpay, even if he would have been able to repeat his career year, which his periphs don’t support, it was a massive overpay.  He just isn’t a very good pitcher, he never was.

      • Redbirds16 4 years ago

        He’s having a pretty darn good year this year, if I’m not mistaken. His first complete year healthy since signing the contract.

      • wwy 4 years ago

        Actually, he’s been quietly repeating his “career year” (2008) this year, and this is the first of the three years in his contract that he’s been healthy throughout. They would gladly have taken four years like this one (with 200 or so innings and an ERA/FIP in the high 3’s or low 4’s).

        • Jeffy25 4 years ago

          If he had remained healthy, and posted fwar numbers like this year each of the four years, he would at the very best earn his contrAct. It was a stupid extension, even if he had improved, they overpaid for him.

  4. Jeffy25 4 years ago

    Moz isn’t a very good GM IMO but this isn’t a bad thing to do.

    So long as you aren’t worry about off-season injuries of course.

    It’s not a bad practice at all.

  5. Stl_Great 4 years ago

    Considering 3 out of the 4 deals weren’t good, and not knowing what’ll happen with Carp, I’d say this is some good embracing by Mo…..

    • Redbirds16 4 years ago

      I’d say all of the deals were serviceable (one good year out of two for a closer at a pricetag of $6 million. One good year from Miller as well, Lohse is having a good year this year, his first completely healthy season since signing the contract).

      Lohse may have been viewed as an albatross contract before this year, especially with all the injuries, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he has some trade value at this point.

      • nictonjr 4 years ago

        If guys like Lohse and Westbrook make $12 mil and $9.5 mil, counting Westbrook’s buyout, respectively next year, Carpenter at 2/21 is a good deal.

        Lohse has a no trade clause, makes ~$12 mil and has been bad to terrible everywhere but StL.  He’s pitching for his next contract. (an in season extension from MO next year?)  Why would he want to leave StL??

  6. BajaPete 4 years ago

    Those of you who continue to pile incessant invective on Lohse (“he’s just not a very good pitcher, never was”) and the man on the other side of that “terrible” contract, John Mozeliak, for anything and everything…getting injured, offering/signing a multi-year contract and the like, merely reveal your personal animus born of 20-20 hindsight toward the men, not your perspicacity or knowledge of the business of baseball.  As correctly pointed out by RB16, EACH of the extensions would have been viewed ecstatically as positively Delphic had the previous performance parameters prevailed…and in each case, they well might have.  It’s called “baseball”; Johnny Mo may bluff upon occasion, and does…but he doesn’t bet to fill an inside straight!  That each deal ultimately was less than perfect may be ascribed to the Shakesperean dictum as expressed by Lear…”As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods…They kill us for their sport.”  Nothing more.  And that  “…never was a very good pitcher” is leading the club in wins!

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