New York Yankees sign Chris Carter to one-year deal

Free agent power hitters have found a slow market this winter, but the New York Yankees have now landed Chris Carter.

The free market for power hitting has been pretty slow this MLB offseason, with most of the bigger names returning to their previous teams. First baseman Chris Carter tied for the National League lead in home runs last season with 41, along with a career-high 94 RBI for the Milwaukee Brewers over 160 games. But he was on track to make roughly $8 million via arbitration this offseason, so the Brewers decided to non-tender Carter instead.

The New York Yankees lost first baseman Mark Teixeira to retirement after last year, and they fell short in their pursuit of Edwin Encarnacion in free agency. But a consolation prize has been found, with Bob Nightengale of USA Today reporting the Yankees have signed Carter to a one-year, $3 million deal.

Nightengale adds that Carter can earn up to an additional $500,000 in incentives, with $100,000 tied to plate appearances at the 250, 300, 350, 400 and 450 marks. He may be part of a platoon situation at first base with a now-healthy Greg Bird, so the high end of that incentive total may be unattainable for Carter.

Carter has become a notable right-handed power hitter, with at least 24 home runs in four straight seasons with the Houston Astros (2013-2015) and the Brewers. But he is also an all-or-nothing hitter, with an average slash line of .219/.315/.470 over the last four seasons, while leading the National League in strikeouts last year (206) and leading the majors in strikeouts with 212 back in 2013.

Carter will be in the mix for the Yankees at first base and DH, primarily, with some time in the corner outfield spots also possible. His agent, former Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart, suggested the possibility of going to Japan recently. Yet the American League with Yankee Stadium as his new home park is a nice landing spot for Carter, and about as good as he could have hoped for at this late stage of the offseason. Even with very narrow overall value, the Yankees surely only expect good power numbers from Carter, and that’s what they should get.

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