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Infielder Matt Carpenter ends an illustrious career with the Cardinals to sign with the Texas Rangers, where he joins Corey Seager and Marcus Semien.
Since the Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks tied for the worst 2021 MLB record at 52-110, that made the 60-102 Texas Rangers the team with the second-worst record of the season.
It was a wake-up call for the Rangers, who have revamped their infield in a matter of months. The Rangers now have Marcus Semien at second base and Corey Seager at shortstop, luring Seager in with the allure of playing at home in Texas.
It seems the hometown pull has just managed to land them another big-name free agent: longtime Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter.
Carpenter accepted a minor league opportunity with the Rangers over major-league offers elsewhere, indicating that the 36-year-old may be looking to play the rest of his career in the DFW area.
Matt Carpenter chooses minor league deal with Texas Rangers to play at home
The 2021 season was a difficult one for Carpenter, who was benched in favor of Nolan Arenado and Tommy Edman. Ever the adaptable player, Carpenter actually pitched in May 2021 against the San Diego Padres in a 13-3 loss.
The Cardinals had a miraculous turnaround in September that led to an energizing playoff opportunity, only to lose quickly to post-season regulars in the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Despite this, there was no longer a place for Carpenter, and the Cardinals declined his 2022 option to make him a free agent for the first time in his MLB career. With that, Carpenter ends an 11-year tenure with the Cardinals, where he was a three-time All-Star and 2013 Silver Slugger Award winner.
Carpenter makes a calculated decision to move home for the chance to play up and make the Rangers roster, but in the chance that he doesn’t perform, he is able to spend valuable time near his family in Fort Worth. Carpenter’s career is coming to a close, but he has the opportunity to do it at home on his own terms, which is something many athletes never have the opportunity to do.