Ahead of the trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be seeking position player depth as well as starting/relief pitching. Chris Taylor’s injury recently complicated things and it’s possible an impact player is acquired to make up for that big loss, too.
Unfortunately for Andrew Friedman and Co., the depth/impact player conundrum could’ve been taken care of about two months ago, even with Taylor’s injury.
Back in May, Matt Carpenter was released from his minor-league contract with the Texas Rangers after they somehow deemed he wasn’t fit for a spot on their major league roster. Yup, the 41-49 Rangers, who have underperforming players all across their roster, somehow had no room for Carpenter, a valuable veteran presence who was hungry for an opportunity.
Shortly after he was cut loose, the New York Yankees picked him up and stashed him on their bench. And it turns out this might’ve been the best in-season signing of the entire 2022 campaign.
On top of filling in at multiple positions (first base, third base, left field, right field), Carpenter just won AL Player of the Week and is hitting an unbelievable .354 with a remarkable 1.380 OPS, 23 runs scored, 13 homers and 34 RBI in 31 games.
Similar to the Yankees, the Dodgers have an incredibly deep lineup, which makes it reasonable to assume he’d be raking in similar fashion had he joined LA.
How did the Dodgers miss the boat on slugger Matt Carpenter?
Did we mention his 286 OPS+? And his 2.2 WAR? You couldn’t make this stuff up even if you tried! Another plus to Carpenter’s game is that he slugs from the left side of the plate, which would’ve tremendously helped the Dodgers as Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger continue to struggle mightily.
Not only that, but he could’ve effectively handled some third base duties during Justin Turner’s horrid cold streak as well as right field when Mookie Betts hit the injured list. Now, with left field a bit of a revolving door, Carpenter would’ve had an everyday job.
At this point, Carpenter’s contributions are literally the difference between the Yankees and Dodgers in terms of MLB supremacy at the moment.
All it would’ve cost the Dodgers? $2 million. Now, it’s likely going to cost assets in the form of prospects to fortify positions of need on the roster that Carpenter clearly would’ve been able to fill.
Friedman can’t win them all, but after his pickup of Albert Pujols last year, it really felt like Carpenter would’ve been a formidable fit with the Dodgers, especially with solid success against every NL West team as well as other NL clubs with 11 seasons in St. Louis under his belt.