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.

Pirates acquire Erik González from Indians

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The Pirates announced on Wednesday that the club acquired infielder Erik González along with minor league pitchers Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza in exchange for outfielder Jordan Luplow and infielder Max Moroff.

González, 27, is quite versatile, having played all four infield positions as well as both outfield corners. He has just a .681 career OPS across 275 plate appearances in the big leagues, though. González will provide infield depth for the Pirates, who are losing Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer.

Thomas, 19, completed his second season at rookie ball. He pitched 19 2/3 innings, yielding 10 earned runs on 13 hits and 10 walks with 27 strikeouts.

Mendoza, 19, also just completed his second season at rookie ball. The right-hander pitched 37 1/3 innings, allowing 19 earned runs on 33 hits and 20 walks with 37 strikeouts.

Luplow, 25, has played 64 games in the big leagues as an outfielder, mustering a paltry .644 OPS in 190 plate appearances.

Moroff, 25, has played second base, third base, and short stop in the majors. He carries a career .625 OPS in 209 trips to the plate.