Chris Carter led the National League with 41 home runs and was rewarded by the Brewers with a non-tender. The 41 home runs, unfortunately, couldn't mask the fact that Carter wasn't actually that good at anything else. He struck out a league-leading 206 times, leading to a brutal .222 batting average, giving Carter four consecutive seasons with a sub-.230 average. And while he's capable of taking walks, his .321 OBP was still well below the .347 OBP posted by the average National League first baseman. Carter managed to land with the Yankees on a one-year deal, but a regular role at first base or designated hitter is unrealistic with Greg Bird and Matt Holliday in town and due to his many clear flaws.
Carter went 0-for-3 with a walk and one RBI in Thursday's game. The slugger was back in the lineup Thursday after missing a few games with an illness, but his struggles at the plate continued. He is just 4-for-28 (.143) with one home run and three RBI through 12 games this spring, which isn't helping his bid for playing time over Greg Bird and Matt Holiday.
Carter was scratched from Wednesday's lineup due to an illness, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports. He'll be replaced by Greg Bird in the lineup while he works his way back. The slugger isn't helping his bid for playing time, as he is just 4-for-25 (.160) with one homer through 11 games this spring. Consider him day-to-day until the Yankees specify otherwise.
Carter agreed to a one-year deal with the Yankees worth $3 million, Bob Nightengale of the USA Today reports. As long as he passes an upcoming physical, 2016's National League home run leader is slated to join the Bronx Bombers. However, Carter will be joining a crowded depth chart. Carter's defensive struggles don't make a compelling case for him to get frequent starts at first base over Greg Bird. However, coming off a season where he mashed 41 home runs, his power could prove to be a valuable asset in the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. Because of this, it's likely that he'll split time at the DH spot with Matt Holliday, although he may appear at first base should the Yankees face a southpaw.
Carter's agent, Dave Stewart, said Tuesday that his client might soon entertain offers from teams in Japan, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. "I think at some point we have to make it a serious consideration," Stewart said. "It's getting late there, too. Those teams are filling their spaces, too." Despite hitting 41 homers last season, Carter found himself non-tendered for the second straight offseason as Milwaukee decided he wasn't worth upward of $8 million. Of course, the value of the power and walks has been largely negated by the swing and miss in Carter's game -- he led the NL with 206 strikeouts last season -- and his defensive deficiencies. According to Stewart, the Rays appear to be Carter's best major-league possibility remaining.
Carter is officially a free agent after the Brewers non-tendered him. The Brewers had been reported by Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball to still be looking for trade partners for Carter, but those efforts apparently failed. That's not too large of a surprise, considering Milwaukee was negotiating with little leverage since they had already designated him for assignment, but that's also not a good sign for Carter's market as a free agent. Carter should still be able to find a team that values his right-handed power and can stomach the whiffs and poor defensive value.