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Cardinals nearing extension for Ryan Franklin is reporting that the Cardinals are nearing a two-year extension with closer Ryan Franklin. Franklin is having a breakout year for the Cardinals, leading the league with 34 saves in his first full season as a closer. He also received his first All-Star bid this season.

The 36-year-old Franklin made the All-Star team for the first time this season, and is 34 for 36 in save opportunities with a 2-1 record and 1.07 ERA. He had saves in 10 consecutive outings entering Friday night's game against the Washington Nationals.

Franklin is in his third year with the Cardinals, and is pretty familiar with the NL Central. At the same time, the scouting reports will only get better on a pitcher as he pitches more against his division. It will be interesting to see how he fairs as a closer down the road.