Report: New York Yankees sign 1B/DH Chris CarterThe 30-year-old righty slugger led the National League with 41 home runs in 2016
Carter, 30, led the National League with 41 home runs in 2016 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, and finished the year with a slash line of .222/.321/.499 along with 27 doubles, 84 runs and 94 RBI.
The 6-foot-4 right-handed slugger made his MLB debut in August of 2010 with Oakland, where he spent parts of three seasons from 2010 to 2012 before a three-year stint in Houston.
Last year, in his lone season with Milwaukee, Carter played a career-high 160 games, and finished with more home runs (41) and strikeouts (206) than any NL batter.
Per Nightengale's report, Carter will receive a $500,000 signing bonus, and is set to earn an additional $100,000 for reaching 250, 300, 350, 400 and 450 plate appearance thresholds.
The Yankees enter the 2017 season with open position battles at first base and right field -- two locations on the diamond where Carter has Major League experience -- with a host of young players vying for the starting jobs. If nothing else, Carter provides an inexpensive "insurance" policy for New York, with the added value of a proven home run hitter into the lineup.
In 2016, the Yankees underwent a series of devastating injury setbacks at the first base position. Greg Bird missed the entire year with a torn labrum, Mark Teixeira battled neck and knee issues all year long, Dustin Ackley missed most of the season with a shoulder injury, and Triple-A call-up Chris Parmelee suffered a severe hamstring strain and made just six appearances for New York.
Rob Refsnyder, Tyler Austin and Austin Romine were forced into emergency appearances at the corner position because of New York's endless string of bad luck, so perhaps the Yankees front office is hoping to proactively combat any future first base injury issues in 2017, especially considering Bird's long absence from a Major League field.
Positional depth aside, Carter has proven to be one of the game's premier power hitters in his seven-year MLB career, despite his unsightly strikeout totals. Yankee Stadium's outfield dimensions lend themselves to sluggers of all varieties, and Carter has shown a knack for mashing against lefty pitchers (.537 SLG% vs. LHP in 2016), so perhaps he'll end up as a platoon option against southpaws.
As the Yankees count down their final week before pitchers and catchers make their first official appearance in Spring Training, they'll have one more potent offensive weapon in the fold to battle it out for a final roster spot.
Final breakdown of Chris Carter's $3.5 M guaranteed contract w #Yankees: $3 million base salary, $500,000 signing bonus, $500K incentives.- Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 7, 2017