The Cardinals announced on Wednesday afternoon that the club and third baseman Matt Carpenter have agreed to a two-year contract extension with a third-year vesting option. Per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the contract will cover the 2020-21 seasons and the vesting option will be for 2022.
Carpenter, 33, is finishing out his six-year, $52 million contract extension signed in March 2014. He had an $18.5 million club option for the 2020 season. The Athletic’s Mark Saxon reports that Carpenter will earn a combined $39 million in 2020-21 and, if he accrues 1,100 plate appearances over those two years, his 2022 option will vest for $18.5 million.
Carpenter had a career year in 2018, batting .257/.374/.523 with 36 home runs and 81 RBI in 677 plate appearances. He is off to a slower start to begin 2019, owning a .701 OPS with a homer and three RBI across 11 games.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.