Quick Notes: Braves Release Matt Carpenter; could the Nationals be a good fit?
The Atlanta Braves have released 38-year-old left-handed DH Matt Carpenter.
It was only a couple of days ago that the Braves acquired Carpenter from the San Diego Padres. The Braves took on $4MM of this year’s $5.5MM salary (and the associated luxury tax hit) as a means of effectively purchasing left-handed reliever Ray Kerr from the Padres.
The Braves were looking to trade a left-handed hitter according to David O’Brien and Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic (X link), however, it looks like they couldn’t find anyone to trade with and now the DH is on the free market.
Why does this matter? Well, according to Talk Nats, the Nationals are in the market for wait for it, a left-handed hitter and Carpenter might be a good fit for the Nationals.
Carpenter had a banner year with the New York Yankees in 2022 when he hit 305/.412/.727 with 15 home runs in just 154 trips to the plate. A broken foot ended his season, but that eye-popping resurgence was still enough to land him a two-year, $12MM deal with the Padres last offseason.
However, during his time with the Padres, things didn’t go so well for him. In 237 plate appearances with the Padres last year, Carpenter hit just .176/.322/.319. He still walked at a massive 17.3% clip, but Carpenter’s strikeout rate spiked as his exit velocity and hard-hit rate trended in the other direction.
Now that Carpenter is a free agent, he can sign with a team on a league-minimum MLB deal or even on a minor league deal and spring training invite, which should draw some eyes from the Nationals.
There’d be little to no risk for a new club trying to catch lightning in a bottle in the same manner as the 2022 Yankees did.
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