The New York Yankees have designated relief pitcher David Carpenter for assignment to clear room for the returning Masahiro Tanaka, as announced by the team.
Carpenter, 29, was expected to be an important part of the Yankees bullpen coming into the season but he never managed to fix his issues. In 18 2/3 innings this year, Carpenter pitched to a 4.82 ERA with a disappointing strikeout rate of 13.4%. A severe drop from the 29.3% he posted for the Atlanta Braves last season.
Speaking of the Braves, Carpenter was acquired from Atlanta in the offseason along with left-handed pitcher Chasen Shreve in exchange for longtime Yankee prospect Manny Banuelos. In trading Banuelos, the Yankees anticipated receiving two promising relievers. Carpenter found success the past two seasons in Atlanta, posting a combined 2.66 ERA in 126 2/3 innings from 2013-2014 after bouncing around between the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays earlier in his career.
“I know I wasn’t throwing the ball like I was expected,” Carpenter told the New York Post. “I didn’t come in and get a few guys out. They treated me well here. It didn’t work out. … I understand the move. They have guys throwing well down there [in the bullpen.”
Additionally, Carpenter told the Post that he feels he let teammate Brian McCann down. The two pair of battery mates have been teammates not only this year, but previously in Atlanta in 2013. Receiving many opportunities to right the ship, Carpenter revealed that his now former teammate was one person who always had his best interests in mind.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Carpenter said. “Mac put his neck out there for me.”
Conversely, the second part of the trade with the Braves, Shreve only received a cup of coffee with the Braves, making his way into just 15 games in 2014. Thus far in 2015, Shreve has been one of the Yankees more trustworthy relievers, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.38 ERA in 22 1/3 innings while striking out 24. With Carpenter gone, Shreve will be one of five left-handed relievers in the Yankees bullpen, joined by the likes of Justin Wilson, Chris Capuano, Jacob Lindgren and Andrew Miller.
The Yankees now have 10 days to either trade, release or waive Carpenter. Considering his power arm, age and recent track record of success, the Yankees will likely be able to work out a trade with a team in need of bullpen help. Carpenter is under team control through 2017 as an arbitration-eligible player, making him more attractive of a low-risk option to other teams.