Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter's rehab goal goes beyond reaching October healthy enough to have a normal offseason.

He wants the Cardinals to know if they'll have one, too.

"I think it's important for them and for me so that they know what they have for next season and what they can count on from me," Carpenter said Sunday. "They need to know if I can be counted on to be ready to pitch. They can't go the whole offseason wondering if I'm going to be there in spring training and let free agency pass by if I'm not going to be."