Chris Carter to the Yankees
Recently, the Yankees signed slugger Chris Carter to a small, one-year contract. When I saw the news of the agreement, I thought “it’s about time.” This is a deal that works in the Yankees favor to a major degree.
Last year, Chris Carter’s 41 home runs tied for the National League lead. Carter’s massive bat will pay dividends in the hitter-friendly Yankees Stadium, where the short right field porch will play in his (and the Yankees’) favor. However, many people, including myself, questioned why Carter would take such a team-friendly contract.
Carter’s deal for $3.5 million is an absolute steal. In 2015, Chris Davis hit 47 home runs to lead the American League. As a reward, the Baltimore Orioles signed him to a massive seven-year, $161 million contract. Both players have a fairly one-dimensional game, though Carter’s game is truly power or bust. Why is that Davis deserved a whopping $157.5 million more?
The answer lies in the ever-changing market. This year featured a perennial All-Star, Edwin Encarnacion, struggling to find a deal before settling for much less than originally predicted. Jose Bautista, who many expected to earn somewhere between $80–100 million, signed a contract for $18.5 million. On the other hand, guys who average less than one inning per game, received contracts of upwards of $80 million. Free agency is a dynamic system and if you hit it at the wrong time, it could cost you a fortune.
The baseball world, however, should applaud Brian Cashman. Though there is not a need for Chris Carter with Greg Bird penciled in as the Yankees’ everyday first baseman, and Matt Holliday manning the DH spot, Carter will have immense value off the bench. Cashman recognized the lack of suitors for Carter and pounced. This will be the best free agency signing of 2016 and serves as a sign for the ability Cashman has to continually adapt and remain one of baseball’s top general managers. Adding Chris Carter will help propel the Yankees to new heights, solidifying the depth chart and enabling them to make a deep run into the playoffs.