MLB notebook: Cardinals ink infielder Carpenter to 6-year deal
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 as 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 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.
Carpenter switched to second base during last spring training and started 128 games as a middle infielder in 2013.
Royals set starters
James Shields and Jason Vargas will start the Royals' first two games of the season at Detroit.
Manager Ned Yost announced opening starters Saturday and said Wade Davis is no longer a candidate for a spot in the rotation.
Davis made 24 starts before being sent to the bullpen last season. Yost said the decision on Davis was made after Luke Hochevar was lost for the season to reconstructive elbow surgery.
Yost said left-hander Danny Duffy and rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura are the remaining candidates to fill out the rotation.
Jeremy Guthrie, who led the Royals with 15 victories last year, will start the home opener April 4 against the White Sox.
Shields, who started the opener last season, was 13-9 with a 3.15 ERA last year.
Left-hander Garcia ailing
Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia will have his sore shoulder examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday.
Garcia also will have a rehabilitation plan set up by physical therapists in Andrews' office in Birmingham, Ala.
Garcia, 27, felt soreness in his surgically repaired shoulder and hasn't thrown since the second week of spring training.
He already has visited Dr. Andrews' office once, and it was determined then that he didn't need surgery.
Garcia will be in Alabama for a few days. The program he begins there is not expected to involve throwing. There is no timetable for his return to the mound, but he almost certainly won't be ready for the start of the season.
In five major league seasons, Garcia is 39-25 with a 3.45 ERA.
Puig excused from camp
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has been excused because of a personal matter.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Puig, who was permitted to miss baseball activities Saturday, is expected back in the lineup Sunday.
“It hasn't been a big deal. I've known about it since the beginning of camp,” Mattingly said.
Mattingly declined to say whether Puig had to travel out of state.
Santana in demand
Free-agent right-hander Ervin Santana's willingness to lower his asking price has made the Blue Jays and Orioles among his likely landing spots, MLB.com reported.