VIERA, Fla. – The Cardinals and Allen Craig agreed to a five-year, $31 million contract extension Friday that keeps the slugger in St. Louis until at least 2017.
Craig also gets a $13 million option for 2018 that could make the total value of the deal $43 million. The Associated Press reported that Craig gets $1.75 million in 2013, $2.75 million in 2014, $5.5 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016 and $11 million in 2017.
The 28-year-old Craig wasn’t eligible for arbitration until next season.
“This is something that obviously I wanted and my family wanted as well and I’m just glad that Mo and chairman DeWitt were generous enough to consider it,” Craig said. “I’m just glad that it got done and looking forward to a great season and doing anything I can to get the team back to the World Series.
“I just think it made sense for both sides.”
Craig hit .307 with 22 home runs and 92 RBI in 119 games last season. His .400 average with runners in scoring position last season was the best in baseball and his .374 mark the past two seasons trails only Cincinnati’s Joey Votto.
He has a career .300 average with 37 home runs and 150 RBI in 250 for the Cardinals since debuting in 2010.
“We look at his career path and it certainly gives him some security that he hadn’t had up until this point,” said general manager John Mozeliak. “He wasn’t an extremely high draft pick where he had a huge signing bonus. This for him is a very big deal. For us, it gives us some protection in the middle of the lineup for a long time.”