Yankees Sign Veteran K Leader Chris Carter: Say It Ain’t So, Brian

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees, according to a Tweet from Bob Nightengale, have signed free agent Chris Carter to a one-year deal. All of a sudden now, it’s luxury tax be damned, and the youth movement can wait, is that it? Say it ain’t so, Brian.

Yankees management – why have you forsaken me? According to the Sporting News, The Yankees have signed first baseman/DH Chris Carter to a one-year deal. Here’s the Tweet, read it and weep.

Bob Nightengale ✔ @BNightengale
Chris Carter, who hit 41 HRs last year, will receive a $500,000 signing bonus and can make $100K for 250, 300, 350, 400 and 450 PAs. #Yankees
3:03 PM – 7 Feb 2017

Chris Carter is a player who has been non-tendered two years in a row by two different teams. Lugging along a .218 batting average, he is destined to be the Dave Kingman of the 21st Century.

Oh yes, he does hit home runs. He hit 41 of them last season with the Brewers tieing Nolan Arenado for the National League lead. But before you get too carried away, also note that he struck out – are you ready for this – 206 times last year, which translates to once in every three plate appearances. Three seasons ago, he even managed to beat that strikeout rate with 212 K’s.

What happened to the 450-500 at-bats slated for Greg Bird?

What’s up here, Brian (Cashman)? Tell us, what happened with that sacrosanct desire to keep the Yankees nearer to the luxury tax threshold you were speaking about just a week ago. And what about the even more sacrosanct Yankees youth movement? And where are the 450-500 at-bats that were slated for Greg Bird, one of our most prized “kids” looking to crack the Yankees lineup.

Or, will you say that Carter is an “insurance policy” against Bird’s health? And if he is, wouldn’t he be the same in May or June when Bird proves he can’t go anymore? Or, did you hear the rumblings that no one else did that other teams were knocking on Carter’s door waiting to get in?

Joe Girardi is as happy as a lark with this news, though. Because now, he has another “veteran” on the team to complement Aaron Hicks, who Girardi also feels compelled to provide with regular playing time in the lineup.

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It’s been a good long time since I’ve had anything negative to say about Brian Cashman. But, this one irks me. And there’s something else lurking in the shadows about Chris Carter, aside from all the strikeouts coming from the middle of the order. Who is Chris Carter, and why has he been “dumped” on two occasions in two successive years. Pray tell, it’s not because of his presence in the clubhouse, is it? I guess we’re gonna find out.

One last thought. If Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gave the go-ahead to add $3 million to the payroll, blitzing the luxury tax anyway, did he at least ask Brian Cashman about possibly using that money towards a much-needed starting pitcher? Or, how about this one? Mike Napoli is still available. He wants two years, but for the opportunity to end his career in Pinstripes, he might give some. And there’s a guy who’s universally known as the consummate professional ballplayer, and a joy to have in the clubhouse.

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This move by the Yankees upsets the apple cart. Make no mistake about it.