Freddie Freeman, Allen Craig, and a Potential Matt Carpenter Extension

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Freddie Freeman, Allen Craig, and a Potential Matt Carpenter Extension
Jeff Roberson

Matt Carpenter heads into the 2014 season as one of the biggest bargains in all of baseball. Of the top 25 hitters in 2013 by fWAR, only Carpenter, Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson, and Manny Machado are set to make under a million dollars this season. Donaldson, Trout, and Machado were all first rounders and received solid signing bonuses, topped by Machado's $5.25 million after the 2010 draft. At this time last year, the Cardinals locked up Allen Craig to a five-year deal worth $31 million that bought out one pre-arbitration year, all three arbitration years, and one free agent year plus an option to buy out another. Craig's deal has since been dwarfed by Freddie Freeman's massive eight-year $135 million dollar contract. While Carpenter does not have quite the leverage Freeman did, a changing financial landscape could make signing Carpenter to an extension more difficult than Craig's just a season ago...

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