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the minor-league track record's not great, didn't even make AAA until 25
It's not a very SABR line of thinking, but the Cardinals organization clearly puts some value in rewarding their guys for a job well done. Not in a Phillies "let's re-sign all of our declining stars to long term deals" way, but aggressively rewarding guys with 2-4 years of service time who have played a significant role in a division/league/WS title with moderate (compared to the money thrown around in FA) extensions. In essence they are sending a message to the up and comers that "if you help us win, we will take care of you".
Isn't Zobrist a pretty good comp? Debut at 25, first full season at 27/28, infielder, etc. Z has more power and better defense but doesn't have Carpenter's amazing eye, and carp hits for higher average.
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