ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — – Matt Carpenter was added to the New York Yankees roster as a designated hitter after agreeing to a one-year contract on Thursday, a week after being released from the Texas Rangers’ minor league system. .
Carpenter entered the lineup for a series opener at Tampa Bay when center fielder Aaron Hicks was scratched shortly before the start of the game with a hamstring strain. Aaron Judge has been moved from DH to center.
“It happened quickly and now I’m here and I couldn’t be more excited about it,” Carpenter said after meeting manager Aaron Boone at Tropicana Field.
“We just had a quick chat about this, but my response is I’m excited to put on a uniform and be on the best team in baseball right now,” Carpenter said. “I’m just excited to be here. I’m going to start running.”
Injured New York also contract selected 31-year-old left-hander Manny Bañuelos of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Bañuelos was in the Yankees’ minor league system from 2008 to 2014, but never made it to the big league club during that time.
Carpenter, 36, gets a contract with a salary of $1 million in the major leagues and $200,000 in the minor leagues. A three-time All-Star with the St. Louis Cardinals, he hit .275 with six home runs and 19 RBIs in 21 games for Round Rock of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.
Carpenter spent the previous 11 seasons with the Cardinals, batting .262 with 155 home runs and 576 RBIs. He hit .169 last year with three home runs and 21 RBIs in 207 at-bats.
He played in 19 games at the start of the year, one at third and two at designated hitter.
DJ Le Mahieu. who shared time at third base with Josh Donaldson while also playing first and second, missed the final two games of a series against Baltimore with left wrist pain and was not in the starting lineup of Thursday evening.
Donaldson remained in New York with a cough and felt better after intravenous fluids, according to Boone. Donaldson remains negative for COVID-19.
Boone said he could use Carpenter at first, third, right and maybe second.
“He’s someone who’s been on our radar for the past few months,” Boone said. “We’ve been looking at him for a while as a left-handed batsman off the bench. … Just a professional guy on the left side, and we think he can help us.”
Bañuelos receives a salary of $800,000 in the major leagues and $150,000 in the minor leagues. He was assigned number 68, the number that was worn with the Yankees by old buddy Dellin Betances.
He pitched in the major leagues for Atlanta in 2015 and the Chicago White Sox in 2019, going 4-8 with a 6.31 ERA in 14 starts and seven relief appearances. Bañuelos is 0-2 with a 2.35 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances for Scranton, striking out 30 and walking 12 in 30⅔ innings.
Bañuelos, a member of the Mexican pitching squad at last year’s Olympics, split the 2021 season between the Fubon Guardians in Taiwan and the Sultanes de Monterrey in Mexico.
“He was great to be there this spring and he’s pitching really well,” Boone said. “He put himself on our map this spring with his performance and he carried that into the season.”
New York assigned catcher Rob Brantly to the RailRiders. The Yankees opened up spots on the 26-man active roster by picking left-hander JP Sears and outfielder Estevan Florial in Scranton after Wednesday’s 2-0 win.
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