ST. LOUIS • Cardinals starter and the winningest pitcher in the club's postseason history Chris Carpenter will join the club's front office in a role that is still in the process of being defined.
Carpenter and general manager John Mozeliak had a meeting earlier this month to discuss a post-retirement role for the pitcher.
Mozeliak announced this morning that they came to an agreement on a position, one that would not be in uniform. Carpenter is interested in learning about various aspects of the front office and could be involved in the scouting process, Mozeliak said. The details and the title of the job are being written by him now.
Mozeliak called Carpenter "unofficially onboard."
He referenced the i's that need dots and the t's that need crosses -- including a job title -- before Carpenter's next employment can be formally announced.
Carpenter will have a role in spring training with the major-league club. He will not be in Jupiter, Fla., for the entire stretch.
Mozeliak said that Carpenter will be enrolled in the spring program that the Cardinals have for many of their young scouts. Mozeliak envisions a way for Carpenter to get experience at several levels of scouting. That is similar to what former closer Ryan Franklin did before moving into a special assistant to the general manager role.
Also of note from Mozeliak's talk with the media:
-- Oscar Taveras has been in town for the past week doing his rehab and work in St. Louis. He has not been cleared to run, but he's making progress. Mozeliak said he does not expect Taveras to be behind other players at spring training.
-- Mozeliak implied that three of the team's top prospects will be part of the non-roster invitee group to spring training: Carson Kelly (as a catcher) and outfielders Stephen Piscotty and James Ramsey.
-- He reiterated that Allen Craig has had a normal offseason.
-- Mozeliak allowed for the possibility that the wide gap between offer and request with Daniel Descalso's salary could bring the team to a hearing for the first time in more than a decade.
-- Mozeliak attempted to deflate an odd question that continues persist this winter: Peter Bourjos, with his top speed, is going to be more of a bottom-third hitter for the lineup and not at the top of it, if Mozeliak has a say in the matter. He cautioned that he does not make out the lineup -- that is the manager's job -- but for him the thought of moving Bourjos' speed to the top was a mistake because he doesn't have the OBP that a Matt Carpenter and others have had. This is a topic that has been discussed often in the chats and blogs here: Bourjos is built to bat eighth. Talk a walk. Steal second. Carpenter is a fit for the top of the lineup until, as Rick Hummel mentioned in this morning's paper, someone like a Kolten Wong proves capable of having the OBP to move Carpenter into an RBI role.
-- A contract extension for Matt Carpenter is not imminent, but Mozeliak acknowledged the potential to discuss such an agreement during spring training.
Check back for more from Mozeliak's talk with the media and more info as Day 1 of the 18th annual Winter Warm-up continues.