The New York Yankees media announced Thursday that infielder Matt Carpenter has signed a major league contract with the team and has been added to the 26-man roster.
New York placed Josh Donaldson, Joey Gallo and Kyle Higashioka on the COVID-19 injured list earlier this week. The Yankees placed Giancarlo Stanton on the 10-day IL Wednesday because of ankle inflammation, and Gallo was reinstated.
This will mark Carpenter's first appearance in the big leagues in 2022. He signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers in March and accepted an assignment with their Triple-A affiliate at the end of spring training.
In 21 games with the Round Rock Express, Carpenter hit .275/.379/.613 with six homers and 19 RBI. He was released by the Rangers on May 19 in a mutual decision caused by a lack of opportunity with the MLB team.
Carpenter played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2011 to 2021, making three All-Star Games. He had a cup of coffee for the 2011 World Series champions with 19 plate appearances and became a staple in the team's lineup by the end of the 2012 campaign.
His best season was in 2013 when he led Major League Baseball with 126 runs, 199 hits and 55 doubles. Carpenter hit .318 (.873 OPS) with 11 home runs and 78 RBI.
The former TCU star also made the All-Star Game in 2014 and 2016 and paced the NL with 44 doubles in 2015. His .897 OPS in 2018 marked a career best.
Carpenter's bat began to decline in 2019 as injuries took their toll. He went on the injured list with a lower back strain and a right foot contusion, finishing the year hitting .226. The pandemic-shortened 2020 season ended with his batting average sinking below the Mendoza Line to .186 before bottoming out at .169 (.581 OPS) in 2021.
Carpenter had a vesting option for $18.5 million in 2022 if he reached 1,100 plate appearances in the previous two seasons, but he fell short and became a free agent.
Carpenter appeared in six postseasons and was a great Cardinals player who should find himself in the team's Hall of Fame someday.
The Yankees need depth because of Stanton's injury and the other players who are unavailable while on the COVID-19 injured list. Carpenter may not return to the peak levels he had with the Cardinals, but his stint in Triple-A with Texas is an encouraging sign that he might have something left.