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Franklin close to extension with Cards

Franklin close to extension with Cards

ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Franklin confirmed on Friday that he is close to a contract extension with the Cardinals that will keep the reliever in a St. Louis uniform through the 2011 season.

"We've been talking for a couple months, and it's getting pretty close," Franklin said. "Both sides are going to be happy. My whole thing to be happy is to be able to maybe finish my career here. I'm not saying that I'm done after this, if we get this done, but it would be an awesome thing to be able to end my career here in St. Louis. To be close to home, it's a great opportunity for me and my family."

Franklin, 36, signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Cardinals before the 2007 season, hoping to compete for a starting rotation spot. He spent '07 instead as a reliever, and before that season was out, he agreed to a two-year deal for 2008-09 with a club option for 2010. He will now sign a two-year deal that will take him through 2011.

Under his current deal, Franklin split the '08 season between pitching setup relief and closing for St. Louis before becoming the ninth-inning man very early in the '09 season. He is enjoying the best year of his career.

Entering Friday night's game, the right-hander has a 2-1 record, 34 saves in 36 chances, a 1.07 ERA, 33 strikeouts and 13 walks in 50 1/3 innings. He was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. An Oklahoma native and resident, he has made no secret of his fondness for pitching in St. Louis.

The Cardinals hold a 2010 contract option on Franklin, but that deal will be replaced by a new two-year contract. The imminent deal was first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and according to the paper, Franklin will receive approximately $6.5 million guaranteed over the next two seasons. The Cards' option for 2010 is for $2.75 million with a buyout of $250,000.

"It's a good fit for me," Franklin said. "It's a good fit for my family. They can get up here really easily from Oklahoma. It's a good situation."

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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