The New York Yankees signed slugger Chris Carter to a one-year deal worth $3.5 million with additional incentives, said a source close to the American League team.
In 2016, Carter tied for the lead in home runs in the National League with 41, but could not find a team to sign him after he was non-tendered following the end of last season by the Milwaukee Brewers.
The deal according to the AP includes a signing bonus of $500,000, a salary of $3 million and performance bonuses of $500,000 that relate to plate appearances.
Carter told the media that he was excited about playing for a much bigger market team that than his former team since he will receive much more national exposure.
The veteran, who is 30, has a few flaws in his slugger’s swing. Last season his batting average was just .222, while he owned a .321 on-base percentage and fanned 206 times in his 644 appearances at the plate.
However, the move by the Yankees is low risk. The team needs depth Carter will provide as a designated hitter and at first base. Carter has not played outfield since he was with Houston in 2014.
Greg Bird, a left-handed batter, is the frontrunner to start at first, but he missed all of the 2016 season with an injured shoulder, while Aaron Judge who bats right and is expected to be the right field starter, but has had problems striking out.
Tyler Austin will also be part of the picture at first base though he and Judge could be sent down to the minors if their playing time is reduced.
In addition, the Yankees signed Matt Holliday to be their DH and he will likely be Gary Sanchez’s protection. Holliday has played on 182 games during the past two seasons because of injuries.
Carter said that he would accept whatever role the Yankees give him as he is aware both Bird and Holliday are with the team.
Carter is inexpensive protection for the Yankees if Judge or Bird struggle and if Holliday, who is 37, becomes injured again.
New York can use some power and Carter’s 150 home runs over his career of seven years, gives them proven power.
The leading home run hitters for the Yankees returning this spring are Starlin Castro, who hit 21 and Sanchez who belted 20, but his came in just 53 games.