Matt Carpenter's contract is the worst deal among current St. Louis Cardinals players according to a blog that ranks each team's worst financial commitment.
It's almost comical that a pact that totals about a fifth of the deal the New York Yankees gave Alex Rodriguez who in turn brought repeated shame to Major League Baseball and his franchise. But at least New York won't have to pay the portion of that deal during which A-Rod was suspended for the use of performance-enhancing drugs...
Here's what the post had to say about the Redbirds:
St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Carpenter (still owed $50.75 million over five years). Carpenter’s another guy that’s a really good player, but lands here almost by default. After a breakout year in 2013, Carpenter’s numbers slid to a still respectable .272/.375/.375 line in 2014. That, along with Carpenter’s versatility, makes him worth his salary, but if he keeps sliding like former teammate Allen Craig did, St. Louis could be in a difficult situation.
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Interesting that the site asks if Carpenter will continue to slide when he's one season removed from his career year. This isn't Albert Pujols seeing all of his production numbers slipping downward over a five-year span. It's a guy who broke some of Stan Musial's left-handed hitter franchise records in 2013 dropping down to a solid season.
I suppose they had to pick somebody. I'm just surprised they didn't go after Matt Holliday's franchise record $120-million contract. A lot of pundits criticized the deal when it was originally signed five years ago. But Holiday actually proved to be a relative bargain with his consistent production. Still, some see only a 35-year-old player who is starting to slow down and criticize the Cardinals for paying Holliday past his prime. I don't agree that it was a bad move. But I do think that detail is easier to fault that a team friendly contract signed by a very useful player in his prime.
It's also interesting that the Cardinals portion of the post mentions Allen Craig. His contract is named the worst for the Boston Red Sox. Here's what the post had to say:
Allen Craig (still owed $26.5 million over three years). 2014 was a lost year for Craig, and the highlight was his trade to the Red Sox by the Cardinals in the John Lackey deal. The biggest problem about Craig in Boston is this – the Red Sox have someone at every position he can play. David Ortiz is the club’s DH. Mike Napoli is their first baseman, though he’ll be a free agent after 2015. The team has three highly-paid outfielders (Rusney Castillo, the converted Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino) and two solid bench outfielders (Jackie Bradley Jr, Daniel Nava). Where in the hell can Craig even get playing time this year?
If Craig can rebound to the hitter he was before 2014 -- and there is a lot of reason to believe he can if he's healthy -- that contract is going to look pretty good. It could very possibly turn into an attractive trade chip for the Red Sox which seems to make it an asset not a liability.
I'd take Craig back in a heartbeat if he could be the player again that he was for the Cardinals from 2011-13.