NEW YORK -- The Yankees are closing in on a one-year, $3.5 million agreement with slugger Chris Carter, a source familiar with the negotiations has told MLB.com.The club has not commented on the deal, which is subject to a successful physical. The Associated Press reported that Carter's contract includes a
NEW YORK -- The Yankees are closing in on a one-year, $3.5 million agreement with slugger Chris Carter, a source familiar with the negotiations has told MLB.com.
The club has not commented on the deal, which is subject to a successful physical. The Associated Press reported that Carter's contract includes a $500,000 signing bonus, a $3 million salary and $500,000 in performance bonuses: $100,000 each for 250, 300, 350, 400 and 450 plate appearances.
Carter tied the Rockies' Nolan Arenado for the National League lead with 41 home runs last season, batting .222 with 27 doubles and a career-best 94 RBIs in 160 games for the Brewers. He also led the NL with 206 strikeouts and was non-tendered by Milwaukee in November.
"I am excited to go play for a bigger-market team with more national exposure," Carter told The AP on Tuesday.
Though the deal is not yet official, the 30-year-old Carter projects to provide insurance for the Yankees at first base, where they had been planning on entering the spring with a competition between Greg Bird and Christopher Austin.
Bird showed promise in a late-season callup two years ago, hitting 11 homers in 46 games, but he missed all of 2016 following right shoulder surgery. Austin hit .241 with five homers and 12 RBIs in 31 games last season, marking his first taste of big league duty.
The Yankees also have added veteran slugger Matthew Holliday to the roster, though they envision the 37-year-old more in a designated-hitter role.
A career .218 hitter over seven Major League seasons with the Athletics, Astros and Brewers, Carter could play first base against left-handers, against whom he posted an .875 OPS last year, while also picking up some at-bats at DH and in left field, where he has played 77 career games.
"I'm ready for whatever role they give me," Carter said. "I know they have Holliday and I know Bird's there, so I'm looking to help the team in any way I can."
Carter earned $2.5 million last season and would be the third significant free agent signed this winter by the Yankees, following their pacts with Holliday (one year, $13 million) and closer Albertin Chapman (five years, $86 million, a new record for a reliever).
Yankees pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 14, with the full squad set to report on Feb. 18. Carter said that it was a relief to finally know which uniform he would be wearing in 2017.
"It's definitely been tough having to wait this long in the offseason when Spring Training is so close," Carter said. "I'm glad to have this out of the way now so I can get out there at Spring Training and have a team and be out there with the guys."
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Carter was again incredibly effective when he connected last season, tying for the NL lead in homers (41) while ranking among baseball's best in average exit velocity (92.5 mph) and fly-ball distance (342 feet), according to Statcast™. But the slugger did not quash his longstanding strikeout problems, posting the seventh-highest whiff total (206) in Major League history and hitting .222 as a result. Now likely destined for a part-time role in the Bronx, Carter may have limited fantasy value outside AL-only formats. The 30-year-old can be expected to compile roughly 350 at-bats as he shares time at first base with Bird -- whose mixed-league appeal is also significantly diminished by the transaction -- and occasionally spells Holliday at the DH spot.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007.