Cubs need to be smart enough to avoid a Matt Carpenter trade

A trade for the 38-year-old veteran cannot, in any world, be considered as a legitimate way to bolster the team's depth chart heading into 2024.

San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies
San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

I cannot - and will not - stomach another guy who's clearly past his prime being sold to us as a legitimate contributor for the Chicago Cubs. I'm done with the Eric Sogard, Daniel Descalso, Jonathan Villar and Eric Hosmer signings.

After acquiring Matt Carpenter in a trade with the Padres that was solely about adding left-hander Ray Kerr, the Atlanta Braves immediately set to shopping the veteran - making it clear they have no intention of rostering him heading into spring training. And it's not hard to understand why.

The warning signs are all there with Carpenter. Aside from his ridiculous 2022 sprint where he put up a 216 OPS+ in limited action with the Yankees, he hasn't been an above average bat since 2018. You couldn't fly a flag with any more red than the ones around the 13-year big league veteran.

Cubs need more infield depth, but Matt Carpenter isn't the solution here

The Cubs have questionable middle infield depth because it looks like Christopher Morel will either be the everyday third baseman or will wind up traded by Opening Day. Behind a Gold Glove double play tandem of Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner, the depth chart consists of just Nick Madrigal and Miles Mastrobuoni.

But even the idea of those guys getting meaningful reps next year shouldn't be enough to scare the Cubs into making a move for Carpenter. Despite his ability to play multiple positions, he doesn't inspire confidence defensively at any of them, the batted ball metrics aren't telling a kind story and he doesn't have anything left in the legs, either.

We've focused a ton on adding big bats and shoring up the pitching staff, and while middle infield depth is definitely more of a tertiary need at this point, a move for Carpenter would be doomed from the start and Jed Hoyer has understand that.