The Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal with free-agent first baseman Chris Carter, as first reported by Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The deal includes $500k in bonuses based on plate appearances.
The Yanks were first linked to Carter earlier Tuesday, despite the Rays, Rangers and Japanese clubs showing more consistent interest throughout the free-agent process. Carter may struggle to find at-bats with the Yankees, who have Greg Bird, Tyler Austin and Matt Holliday already slated in at first base and designated hitter.
Carter, 30, will be under Yankees’ control for the next two seasons after being non-tendered for the second winter in a row in December. If he performs well for the Bronx Bombers, the club would elect to tender him a contract next winter and automatically retain his services for 2018.
Carter co-led the National League in home runs last year with 41 despite hitting just .222/.321/.499 in 160 games. His limited defensive ability and lack of contact numbers scared some teams off this winter, though the Yankees clearly found him worth a bargain price as a strong option against left-handed pitching.