Cheap Seats

Hey Mo: Congrats on Jaime Garcia. Now can you get down to business with Chris Carpenter?

A tip of the cap to Cardinals GM John Mozeliak for getting Jaime Garcia in the fold for the next 4-6 years with a contract that makes sense for both sides.

I know he's probably pretty busy as we near the trade deadline. But I hope sometime between now and the end of the season that he'll get busy trying to renegotiate an extension that will keep longtime ace Chris Carpenter in the fold for at least another couple of seasons.

Carpenter has an option for next season that will pay him $15 million if the Cardinals pick it up. But it's hard to imagine the club could exercise it AND re-sign Albert Pujols. So now is the time to try to reduce that Carpenter pact to a more palatable amount to get the club ready to pounce on Albert as soon as the season is over.

I think a two-year, $20-million guaranteed contract would be a nice replacement for the $15 million option. If I was in Mo's shoes, I might even consider a deal with a vesting option that would pay Carpenter for a third season if he makes an average of 25 starts over the first two years.

Don't be deceived by Carp's win-loss record. He's still got the stuff. And he's still a greater leader for the pitching staff and the team as a whole. As good as Jaime Garcia and Kyle Lohse have been this year, there is no one I would rather see on the mound if the Birds needed to win one game to make the playoffs or win the World Series.