The Texas Rangers have agreed to terms with infielder Matt Carpenter on a minor league deal, per reports.
Carpenter, 36, is a Texas native who was born in Galveston, went to high school at Elkins in Missouri City, and attended college at TCU. A 13th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009, Carpenter went from unheralded senior sign to All Star infielder in the span of a few years, with a six year run from 2013-18 where he put up a total of 25.7 bWAR and an 851 OPS playing second base, third base and first base for the Cards. Since 2018, however, Carpenter has struggled, slashing .203/.325/.346 over the past three seasons, and being relegated to a bench role with the Cardinals in 2021.
Rather than hanging it up, Carpenter spent the offseason working to try to get his swing back, get back to a place where he can be a solid major league hitter again. Carpenter reportedly had some major league offers, but opted to take the minor league deal with the Rangers, which offers him the opportunity to be closer to home, whether that is in Arlington or on a minor league assignment at Frisco or Round Rock to start the season.
I wouldn’t bank on Carpenter making the Opening Day roster — he’s limited to the non-shortstop infield positions, which the Rangers have a number of options to fill, and with Opening Day just three weeks from today, he has little time to show that his bat is back. But, as always, its a minor league deal, so no real risk or harm in seeing what he has.
Meanwhile, former Ranger Delino DeShields has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Miami Marlins. DeShields, of course, was traded to Cleveland after the 2019 season in the Corey Kluber/Emmanuel Clase deal, then ended up re-signing with the Rangers for the 2021 season on a minor league deal.
The same note that mention DeShields signing with the Marlins indicated that the Marlins designated Monte Harrison for assignment. I remember really wanting the Rangers to draft Harrison in 2014. Milwaukee drafted Harrison in the second round, and ended up sending him, along with Lewis Brinson, Isan Diaz and Jordan Yamamoto, to the Marlins for Christian Yelich.
That’s a trade that worked out rather poorly for Miami.