The Cardinals give Chris Carpenter a two-year extension

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that the Cardinals have agreed to a two-year contract extension with starter Chris Carpenter.  The amount: $21 million.  There are still some details to be worked out, but the money and other important parts of the deal are in place.  It should be formally announced later this week.

This is good for the Cardinals for two reason: (1) it locks up the leader of their rotation for two years; and (2) assuming it’s a straight $10.5 million a year, it frees up roughly $4.5 million inasmuch as the Cards had a $15 million option on Carpenter for 2012. I mean, I guess it frees it up. They could have always not exercised the option and saved even more, but someone has to pitch for these guys.

Either way, it certainly disposes of an important piece of business prior to an offseason when all of their energies — and dollars — are going to be needed to either sign Albert Pujols or scramble to fill the void his departure would create.

Nyjer Morgan could not be reached for comment.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.