In Chase Utley and Ryan Raburn, we saw a pair of two-year extensions last month that aren't uncharacteristic for this time of season. In recent years, the later months of the season — particularly September — have served as a time for many general managers to lock down free-agents-to-be to affordable short-term extensions. Using MLBTR's Transaction Tracker, let's take a look back at some of the contracts that have been signed in September recently…
- Padres sign Chris Denorfia to a two-year, $4.25MM extension – Denorfia's contract is a steal given the numbers he's posted this season. The 33-year-old has a .273/.329/.384 slash line with nine homers and eight steals. He's been worth 2.7 fWAR and 2.8 rWAR thanks to his outstanding defense and baserunning skills.
- Rangers sign Colby Lewis to a one-year, $2MM extension — Lewis underwent flexor tendon surgery last summer, so his season was already over when he signed this low-risk contract. It clearly didn't pan out for Texas, as Lewis missed this season as well due to setbacks in his rehab, but the gamble was well worth it for a pitcher of his ability (113 ERA+ from 2010-12 with Texas).
- Cardinals sign Chris Carpenter to a two-year, $21MM extension — Carpenter had averaged 222 innings of 3.02 ERA ball over the previous three years and led the Senior Circuit in innings the year he signed his deal. However, since that time, he's thrown just 17 big league innings due to a host of injuries. It's hard to blame the Cardinals for the contract, but it clearly hasn't worked out.
- Cardinals sign Lance Berkman to a one-year, $12MM extension — Puma was unable to repeat the outstanding .301/.412/.547 triple-slash line he posted in 2011 due to knee injuries in 2012. He tallied just 97 plate appearances in his second campaign with the Cardinals, who nearly went to the World Series even with lost seasons from Berkman and Carpenter.
- White Sox sign Sergio Santos to a three-year, $8.25MM extension — Santos' contract was unlike the others on this list, as it bought out a pre-arbitration year and two arb seasons, and it also contained three more club options. The White Sox got what appeared to be a bargain at the time and could still be one, even if it's not in Chicago. Santos was flipped for prospect Nestor Molina, and his first two seasons with the Jays have seen him total just 21 1/3 innings so far. However, he'll still earn just $3.75MM next season, so there's time for him to start earning his salary.
- Marlins sign Omar Infante to a two-year, $8MM extension — From 2012-13, Infante has batted .291/.318/.432 with plus defense at second base. He also helped the Marlins to obtain a trio of solid prospects from the Tigers when the Fish dealt him and Anibal Sanchez for Jacob Turner, Brian Flynn and Rob Brantly.
- Mets sign Tim Byrdak to a one-year, $1MM extension — Byrdak only threw 30 2/3 innings in 2012, but he held lefties to a paltry .154/.260/.277 batting line in the process, so it's hard to say he didn't meet and exceed the expectations set by his modest salary.