The St. Louis Cardinals have come to terms with third baseman Matt Carpenter on Thursday on a six-year extension worth $52 million. The deal buys out all three of Carpenter’s arbitration years (2015 to 2017) as well as two of his free agent seasons and includes an $18.5 million option for 2020, Carpenter’s age-34 season.
Drafted out of Texas Christian University in the 13th round of the 2009 amateur draft, Carpenter didn’t make his professional debut until the age of 23, but has done nothing but hit since. In his two full minor league seasons, 2010 and 2011, he hit a combined .305/.418/.467 in 1,135 plate appearances, all but 128 of which came in Double- or Triple-A. Since graduating to the majors permanently in 2012, he has hit .310/.383/.475 in another 1,057 plate appearances. A natural third baseman, he filled in at second base for the Cardinals last year and turned in an MVP-quality season, leading the majors in hits (199), runs (126), and doubles (55), putting up a .318/.392/.481 line, playing solid defense, making the All-Star team, winning the Silver Slugger, and finishing fourth in the MVP voting.