It’s a busy Monday for free agent first basemen. Just hours after the Texas Rangers signed Mike Napoli to a one-year deal, the New York Yankees landed a slugger of their own. The Bombers and former Milwakee Brewer Chris Carter have agreed to a one-year deal for the 2017 season, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The contract is reportedly worth $3 million.
The #Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract with Chris Carter, pending a physical.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 7, 2017
New York Yankees Sign Chris Carter
With youngster Greg Bird set to man first for New York next season, Carter will likely see most of his at-bats as the designated hitter. All things considered, that’s a pretty good thing. The uncharacteristically young Yankees have a lot of promise, but just as many questions. Carter’s raw power and veteran presence answer some of those.
The 30-year-old is a veteran of six seasons, and has spent time with the Oakland A’s and the Houston Astros, in addition to the Brew Crew. While he has never hit better than .239 in a season, his power is the real deal. In 2016, Carter led the National League with 41 home runs, and drove in 94 runs. While he did strike out 206 times, he also added 122 hits, including 27 doubles. Carter’s bat could prove vital if the Yankees intend to keep pace with the slugging Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles in the American League East.
Despite Carter’s display of power in 2016, his market failed to really develop. At one point, he was reportedly considering playing in Korea next season. His low batting average and penchant for punchouts drove his value down. As a result, the Yankees were able to get him on the cheap, relatively. Both sides should benefit from the circumstances. Carter will get to play DH and focus solely on hitting, and the Yankees get a veteran bat with a ton of power for a small commitment. If Carter can turn in a solid year, he could earn a larger payday as a DH with another team in 2018.