MLB Veteran Matt Carpenter Is Betting On Himself

Matt Carpenter #13 of the St. Louis Cardinals dives for a ground ball during the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium on September 29, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri.
(Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

Some of the MLB veterans are starting to come off the free agent board in the last couple of days.

Today, it was Matt Carpenter‘s turn to sign a deal.

It wasn’t quite the deal he wanted as far as job security concerns, but it’s good enough for him because it means he will be closer to home.

“Free-agent infielder Matt Carpenter in agreement with Rangers on minor league deal, source tells @TheAthletic. Carpenter had offers for a major-league deal from at least one other club, but decided to bet on himself for chance to play at home. He lives in Fort Worth, Tx.,” MLB insider Ken Rosenthal wrote on Friday.

Carpenter, to be honest, is facing an uphill battle just to make the Texas Rangers‘ roster.

Is There Something Left In Carpenter’s Bat?

He is already 36, and has been a below-average hitter for the last three seasons.

One of the best stats to compare hitters and assess who is above or below-average is wRC+, or weighted Runs Created Plus.

It considers the players’ performance and offensive production and includes external factors in the analysis, such as ballpark and era.

The wRC+ stat has 100 as the average value: anything lower is considered below-average.

Carpenter’s wRC+ marks in 2019, 2020, and 2021 have been 96, 85, and 70, respectively.

He hasn’t always been healthy, but it’s clear at this point that he is declining as a hitter.

There is no harm in a minor league deal, though, and Texas could surely welcome him if he shows he can, at least, return to being average.

Carpenter can play both infield corners but is much better suited at first base at this point.

He slashed .169/.305/.275 in 130 games as a reserve player with the St. Louis Cardinals last year.

He will try to prove there is still something left in his left-handed bat.

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