Rangers sign 3-time All-Star INF Carpenter to minor deal

FILE - St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter fields the ball during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sept. 2, 2020. Veteran infielder Carpenter has signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Veteran infielder Matt Carpenter has signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers, who traded expected starting third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa at the start of spring training, announced Carpenter’s addition Saturday. That was two days after adding versatile Brad Miller, who has started every infield and outfield position in his career, on a $10 million, two-year deal.

The 36-year-old Carpenter, a three-time All-Star while playing his first 11 major league seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, would have a $2 million base salary while in the majors if added to the 40-man roster.

The Cardinals took him in the 13th round of the 2009 amateur draft from TCU, which is about 20 miles from the Rangers' home ballpark. St. Louis paid a $2 million buyout instead of exercising its $18.5 million club option after last season, when Carpenter hit .169 in with three homers and 21 RBIs in 130 games. He hit .186 with four homers and 24 RBIs over 50 games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Carpenter has a .262 career batting average and .368 on-base percentage, with 155 homers and 576 RBIs in 1,329 games. About half of his games in the field have been at third base (671 games), but he also played 333 games at first base and 246 at second base.

Carpenter was an All-Star for the first time in 2013, when he tied Adrian Beltre with a majors-best 199 hits while batting .318 with league-bests 126 runs scored and 55 doubles. His last All-Star season was 2016. He has only 22 homers in 309 games the past three seasons, since hitting 36 in 2018.


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