With a shortage of power in the lineup for the 2017 season, the New York Yankees decided to add a power bat to their lineup just before the start of spring training.
On Tuesday, the Yankees agreed to terms on a one-year, $3 million deal with former Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Chris Carter, as per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The deal is done pending a physical.
Carter is one season removed from leading the National League with 41 home runs as a member of the Brewers; he also lead the league with 206 strikeouts as well, which goes with his “all or nothing” style that he’s had his entire career.
The 30-year-old Carter is a career .218 hitter and hit .222 last year in Milwaukee, but did have the 41 homers and a career-high 94 RBI and a .321 on-base percentage. Before 2016, Carter spent three seasons in Houston; he had 37 home runs in the 2014 season, which was his career high before he hit 41 this past season.
Now with the Yankees, he will get the chance to hit in a very hitter friendly and home run haven ballpark in Yankee Stadium and try to build on his 2016 season. With Carter, he could be used in several scenarios as a first baseman, especially if Greg Bird isn’t ready after missing all of the 2016 season due to undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. He could also be used as the designated hitter in the lineup, especially if Matt Holliday suffers any kind of injury in the season.
Carter can also play some outfield, as he has played both left and right field in his career but has primarily been a first baseman throughout his career and it’s likely where he’ll see his time in the field.
With the departures of Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran since the end of the season, the Yankees lineup was in need of a power boost and with Carter, they will get it. Over the last four seasons, he’s hit no fewer than 24 home runs, which he did in the 2015 season in Houston.
He’s going to strikeout … a lot. He’s struck out over 200 times twice and no fewer than 151 times over the last four seasons. But the Yankees are taking the risk of signing Carter knowing he’s going to strike out a lot and hit for a low average, but reward them with a lot of home runs and drive in runs.
The best thing about this deal is it’s on a one-year deal and it’s a very cheap deal for $3 million. At worst, if it doesn’t work out with Carter, the Yankees can either release him or just let him walk away after the 2017 season.
It’s a low risk, high reward type signing for the Yankees; one that Brian Cashman is known for making throughout his tenure as the Yankees general manager. We’ll see if he strikes gold again with the latest signing of Carter to the team.