It is the MLB offseason, and our brains produce some crazy thoughts during this seemingly endless period of time. A question that has arised for the St. Louis Cardinals is if a return of Matt Carpenter is a good idea. Moreover, is it even plausible?
This question probably did not cross a single Cardinals fan’s mind after his contract expired, and he walked away from the team. Here we are, nearing 2023, and questioning if Carpenter could return to the place where it all began.
Matt Carpenter’s Resurgence
Everyone involved in the St. Louis Cardinals organization was thrilled to see Matt Carpenter succeed with the New York Yankees. It seemed as if his MLB career may be over, but Matt Carpenter was not quite ready to give up.
After Matt Carpenter’s contract in St. Louis ended, both sides knew his time here was done. It was an emotional goodbye, but one that was needed. Matt Carpenter packed his bags and headed down South to join the Texas Rangers organization. That was short-lived, however, as the veteran was eventually cut from their Triple-A affiliate.
Just like that, the Matt Carpenter resurgence begins as he joined the Bronx Bombers. New York had a lot of fun with former Cardinals this season, as Harrison Bader was miraculous with his new team as well.
When Carpenter was healthy, he was a machine. The 36-year-old played in 48 games and had a .305 batting average, 1.138 OPS, 37 RBIs, and 15 home runs through 128 at-bats. Carpenter was on a short leash, and he proved he still had a little juice left in him.
Looking back at his final three years with St. Louis, Carpenter put up career lows in almost every category. In 2021, the lefty had a .169 average and .581 OPS. Perhaps his salsa recipe changed because something about his game was off.
Carpenter is getting old, but after a strong 2022, he is looking for more of an everyday role in 2023. Expect him to be the DH for a contending team who could bounce around in the infield when needed.
Does Bringing Back Carpenter Make Sense?
If the price is right, bringing back, Matt Carpenter could be one of the smartest moves the St. Louis Cardinals have made in quite some time.
In case you forgot about one important detail about the 2023 season, there is no more shift. The shift has hurt Carpenter more than my ex has hurt me. There’s a lot more green out there for the pull-hitter, and he may benefit from the rule change more than any other big leaguer.
We saw a reunion with Albert Pujols work very well, so why not try it with Carpenter? His price tag is lower than a lot of other guys on the market, and we are lacking a power bat from the left side of the plate. Obviously, our biggest need is to ensure we get a quality catcher, but after that, I say we bring our old friend back.