JUPITER, Fla. — At this moment, the chances of the Cardinals even considering trade offers for right-hander Chris Carpenter are slim.
The team fully intends to contend even without righty Adam Wainwright, who will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire season. If anything, general manager John Mozeliak will try to add pitching, not subtract it.
Carpenter, though, figures to be a hot name on the trade market if the Cardinals fall out of contention, particularly with the Yankees feverishly trying to upgrade their starting rotation.
As a player with 10 years of service and five with the same team, Carpenter has the right to block any deal. But he said Thursday that if the Cardinals sought to trade him, he would not stand in their way.
“It’s not up to me. If the Cardinals wanted to trade me, obviously I would go. There’s no question about that,” Carpenter said. “I’m not going hold back or veto or do anything like that if they’re looking to move me.
“I’m not concerned about, though. I’m concerned about getting myself ready to pitch at the beginning of the season.”
Carpenter, who turns 36 on April 27, could be in the final year of his contract — the Cardinals hold a $15 million option on him for 2012, but also can buy him out for $1 million.
If the Cardinals stay in contention — something they likely will do in the modest NL Central — it’s doubtful management will consider trading the team’s best pitcher in what could be first baseman Albert Pujols’ final season with the club.
“I would hope not,” Carpenter said.
— Ken Rosenthal