Former St. Louis Cardinals star Matt Carpenter, shown Sept. 7, 2021, was in the New York Yankees' lineup Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
May 26 (UPI) -- The New York Yankees signed former St. Louis Cardinals star Matt Carpenter to a one-year Major League contract Thursday, the team announced.
Shortly after signing him, the Yankees inserted Carpenter into their lineup as the designated hitter for Thursday's series opener at the Tampa Bay Rays. He entered the team's lineup after center fielder Aaron Hicks was scratched before game time with hamstring tightness.
Aaron Judge, meanwhile, was moved from designated hitter to center field.
"It happened fast and now I'm here, and I couldn't be more excited about it," said Carpenter, who was released from the Texas Rangers' Minor League system last week. "... I'm excited to put a uniform on and be part of the best team in baseball right now. I'm just fired up to be here. I'm going to hit the ground running."
The 36-year-old Carpenter is set to receive a $1 million salary while in MLB and $200,000 while in the minors. The three-time All-Star selection had a .275 batting average with six home runs and 19 RBIs in 21 games for Triple-A Round Rock this year.
Carpenter spent the past 11 seasons with the Cardinals, batting .262 with 155 home runs and 576 RBIs. He had just a .169 batting average last season with three homers and 21 RBIs across 207 at-bats.
"We're excited to get him here," Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters. "He's someone who's been on our radar the last couple of months when he was with the Rangers and had that opt-out.
"He was doing really well in Triple-A. We'd been eyeing him for a while for that left-handed bat off the bench."
Carpenter has appeared at first base, second base, third base, left field and right field in his MLB career.