Matt Carpenter Has Come Back To Earth

There’s no disputing Matt Carpenter had a monster 2013 season. He led the NL in hits, runs and doubles. He batted .318 with an OPS of .873. He was an All-Star, won a Silver Slugger and was 4th in MVP voting. All while moonlighting as a second baseman for the year.

6.4 combined WAR? That’s huge. He deserved to get paid. And he got paid. $52 million dollars to be exact.

He’s had hits in 5 straight games, yes. And his projected line of .279/.389/.756 would make Marp a bargain, since he’s only making $1M dollars in 2014.

Yes, one million.

What wasn’t (as widely) reported with Marp’s new deal is how it’s structured:


That, my friends, is called back-loading a deal. By the time 2018 rolls around, even assuming payroll increases, his contract will be eating up a pretty good chunk of the Cardinals player budget.

As of right now, Marp has 1 HR and 16 RBIs. Putting him on pace to be at 8/59 for the season. Not necessarily the normal production expected from a corner infield spot. Granted, he does other things well, but not defense. He’s projected to cost the Cardinals 5 runs over the course of the season according to Baseball Reference.

Everyone loves Marp. And we’re happy he got paid. But he’s been down from (admittedly high) place in 2013. If in 3 seasons, he’s going to be making 8 figures, he’s also going to have to be one of the main cogs of this offense.

So far, that hasn’t been the case in 2013.

No need to panic yet. Lots of season left. And this year, he’s only eating up $1M, so he’s a steal. I think we’d all like to see some bigger moments from Marp heading towards the All-Star break. Just to make us feel a little bit better about that chart above.

Photo: The Guardian


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