The St. Louis Cardinals are bringing back a familiar face in 2024. The team announced it came to terms on a one-year contract with infielder Matt Carpenter on Friday. The deal is for $740,000, per Ken Rosenthal, with Carpenter also earning $5.5 million from the Atlanta Braves who released him last month.

Carpenter returns to St. Louis after two years away. He spent the first 11 seasons of his MLB career with the Cardinals, making his debut two years after being drafted by St. Louis in 2009.

“When you think of players that helped shape our success in the 2000s, Matt Carpenter's name is one that is synonymous with winning,” Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said in a statement. “Matt showed from the very beginning of his career how hard work and determination can lead to success, and we are excited to have his leadership and experience back in a Cardinals uniform.”

Carpenter earned three All-Star nods and a Silver Slugger Award during his tenure with the Cardinals. He received NL MVP votes in three different seasons, including a fourth-place finish in 2013.

Coming full circle

After the Cardinals decided to not bring him back in 2022, Carpenter spent spring training with the Texas Rangers but was released in May after failing to appear in an MLB game. He then became a key utility player for the New York Yankees, hitting .305 in 154 plate appearances before fouling a ball off his foot which ended his regular season. He recorded one hit in six postseason games that year.

Carpenter then signed with the San Diego Padres and appeared in 76 games for them in 2023. He had a .176 batting average with five home runs. The Padres traded him to the Braves in December and Atlanta released him three days later.

Matt Carpenter's career has now gone full circle and he very well may make 2024 his final season in the MLB. Doing it in a Cardinals uniform seems right.