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Morning Thread: Chris Carpenter's contract, the Cardinals' 2012 rotation

The Month of Terrible Deadlines is almost over, but not quite, which means a few more non-posts. In the meantime, a morning thread factoid: with Chris Carpenter's new contract the Cardinals are now paying their 2012 rotation around $43 million. That's not awful, thanks mostly to Jaime Garcia's continued cheapness through what would be his arbitration years, but it's such an impressive number that you don't quite expect the last two guys on the list to be Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook

That said, it's a rotation in which all five pitchers could, at least theoretically, be average at the same time, now that Kyle Lohse has done about what we hoped he would in year three of that contract. It's a rotation that means to offer stability, and between Carpenter's acquisition and John Mozeliak's apparent wining and dining of Rafael Furcal this is either a team that expects to be able to sign Albert Pujols or a team that is deluded enough to believe that the only thing holding them back from competing in 2011 is having Albert Pujols. 

I'm not going to ever stop believing that Chris Carpenter's comeback from round two of his career being over is anything more than a mirage I'm experiencing before Ambrose Bierce reveals Carp never left the operating table at all, but it's hard to complain about him getting what amounts to the back half of Lohse's deal after 600 innings with a K:BB ratio of 3.23.