The Cardinals made the first big splash of the free agent season signing Chris Carpenter to a three-year extension. The deal is worth $46 million and keeps the 2005 Cy Young winner in St. Louis through the 2011 season.

Carpenter is the second major signing for the World Champions. The team picked up the club option on veteran center fielder Jim Edmonds shortly after the World Series was over. Carpenter gives the Cardinals stability at the No. 1 spot in their pitching rotation. Now the team can concentrate on putting the rest of the staff together. General manager Walt Jocketty said the team has made offers to free-agent pitchers Jason Schmidt, Vicente Padilla, who is close to signing with the Rangers, and Miguel Batista.

Carpenter was the only consistent starter on the staff this season finishing 15-8.