Right-hander David Carpenter, who was released last week by the Braves, has signed with the Rays on a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.
Carpenter is 30 years old with a 3.66 ERA in 211 career innings as a big leaguer, including a 4.01 ERA for the Nationals and Yankees last season. He’s had some shoulder issues and is unlikely to grab a prominent late-inning role, but as far as mid-March minor-league signings go he’s got a strong chance to crack the Opening Day roster.
It’s unclear why the Braves signed Carpenter in November only to release him three months later, but the Rays will gladly take the added bullpen depth and mid-90s fastball at little cost.
After 16 seasons in the majors for eight different teams Randy Wolf has decided to call it a career, with Jon Heyman of MLB Network reporting that the 39-year-old left-hander told an interested team he’s retired.
Wolf returned from Tommy John elbow surgery last season and made it back to the majors after spending most of the year at Triple-A. Once there he got knocked around, going 0-5 with a 6.23 ERA in 35 innings for the Tigers. He last posted an ERA under 5.00 in 2011, so it was time.
Because of injuries Wolf had to make several comebacks throughout his career, but he had a good early run with the Phillies and then a good later run with the Dodgers and Brewers. Overall he started 379 games, logged 2,328 innings, and posted a 4.24 ERA with a 133-125 record. He made one All-Star team in 2003, topped 200 innings six times, and earned nearly $70 million.
James Wagner of the Washington Post caught up with Matt Williams, who was fired by the Nationals one year after being named NL Manager of the Year and is now the Diamondbacks’ third base coach.
Williams played for the Diamondbacks, previously coached for the Diamondbacks, and lives in Arizona, so he told Wagner that “it’s nice to sleep in my own bed at night … it’s a good situation.”
As for being let go by the Nationals despite a .552 winning percentage in two seasons at the helm, Williams said:
It was tough to hear. You want to do as well as you possibly do. It is what it is. That’s the way I look at it. You have choices. You can wallow or move on. I decided to move on. … I did the best job I could do. Tried to make the decisions that were appropriate on any given day.
Williams received a lot of criticism last season and much of it was warranted based on both his shaky in-game tactics and complaints about his losing the clubhouse. However, he certainly handled his firing with class and, even now, Wagner notes that Williams stopped short of getting into any specifics about how he feels wronged or who else is to blame.