The Nationals announced today that they have outrighted veteran right-hander David Carpenter off the 40-man roster. Carpenter elected free agency rather than taking the minor league assignment, as is his right as a player with three-plus years of Major League service time. He’d have been arbitration eligible this offseason, with MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projecting a salary of $1.5MM.
The 30-year-old Carpenter has had a whirlwind calendar year. After enjoying an excellent run with the Braves from 2013-14 –2.63 ERA, 10.0 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 in 126 2/3 innings — Carpenter found himself traded to the Yankees alongside lefty Chasen Shreve in exchange for Manny Banuelos. Things didn’t go well for Carpenter in his brief Bronx stay, as he pitched to a 4.82 ERA with an 11-to-7 K/BB ratio in 18 2/3 innings. The Nationals, though, perhaps intrigued by the strong 94.9 mph average on Carpenter’s heater and increased ground-ball rate, swung a trade to acquire him from New York after he was designated for assignment.
With the Nationals, Carpenter surrendered just one run in his first six innings but quickly landed on the disabled list due to inflammation in his throwing shoulder. That injury eventually led to a transfer to the 60-day DL and would ultimately prove to be a season-ender for the right-hander.
Carpenter and his agents at Sports One Athlete Management will now have the ability to test the open market earlier than expected. As a player with four-plus years of big league service, Carpenter comes with the bonus of being controllable via the arbitration process following the 2016 season for any team that wishes to buy low on a minor league pact in hopes that he can rediscover the for he displayed in his peak seasons with the Braves. A one-year deal with a low base salary is also a possibility, though Carpenter passed through outright waivers unclaimed with a projected price tag of just $1.5MM.