Carpenter, Cardinals nearing two-year pact with $21 million

NEW YORK (AP) — Pitcher Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals are closing in on a $21 million, two-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press.

The person spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because negotiations are not yet complete. The agreement is likely to be announced this week.

St. Louis has a $15 million option for next season, of which $2 million is deferred without interest, as part of a $63.5 million, five-year contract agreed to in December 2006. That deal carries a $1 million buyout.

Carpenter is 9-9 with a 3.75 ERA in 30 starts this year and 142-92 with a 3.79 ERA in 14 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cardinals.

The 36-year-old right-hander won the 2005 NL Cy Young Award, then missed most of the 2007 and 2008 seasons due a series of arm injuries. He had bone spurs removed from his pitching elbow in May 2007 and had reconstructive elbow surgery that July, sidelining him until July 2008. A nerve in his right elbow was transposed in December 2008.

His talks for a new deal were first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Cardinals’ most important offseason negotiation figures to be with first baseman Albert Pujols. The three-time NL MVP is eligible for free agency following the World Series.

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