I agree with everything that these guys are saying. Carpenter can be healthy as can be, but the reality is that he is still 38 years old and will probably be unable to be the classic Carp that we are used to seeing. Having said that, he really is 100% healthy. He came back sooner than expected after missing most of the 2012 season and he has enjoyed being able to participate in his first full offseason in a couple of years. I think it’s pretty unrealistic to think that he can win 20 games, but with all the experience and competitiveness that he has, why can’t he win 15 games this year?
It can’t be understated enough how important having a number one pitcher on your team is. Between Carpenter and Wainwright, the Cardinals arguably have 2 number one pitchers. Of course, as I mentioned above, Carpenter is 38, so that combo won’t last forever. The faster the Cardinals get this done, the better. The less tension there will be between both sides, and the less worry there will be among the fans. There is a consensus throughout the Cardinals organization that it will get done, but that dollar sign at the front of the contract will unfortunately be a point of discussion that I don’t see getting finalized before Spring Training starts.