Cardinals announce two-year, $21 million contract extension with Chris Carpenter

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Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported late Sunday night that Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals had agreed to a two-year, $21 million contract extension and now it’s official.

General manager John Mozeliak has called a press conference to announce the deal, which takes the place of Carpenter’s $15 million team option or $1 million buyout for 2012 and will keep the former Cy Young winner in St. Louis through his age-38 season.

Carpenter’s current 3.75 ERA is his highest since joining the Cardinals in 2003, but he ranks fourth among NL pitchers with 206 innings and has the league’s ninth-best FIP at 3.13. Making multi-year commitments to any pitcher Carpenter’s age is a risk, but this is a no-brainer move for the Cardinals as they enter an offseason full of crucial decisions.