Yankees Analysis: The Hidden Value Of Adding Chris Carter

After the Yankees had signed slugger Chris Carter to a one-year, $3 million contract, many fans were upset. Despite his known strikeout problem and soon to be limited playing time, the Chris Carter signing was a good one by Brian Cashman.

The Yankees know that Chris Carter possesses some of the most incredible power in Major League Baseball. The 2016 National League home run champion posted a new career best with 41 home runs last year. He also put up new career bests in hits, doubles, runs batted in and walks.

Surprisingly, his 206 strikeouts were not a career high, and that seems to be where Carter’s struggles lie. Despite being an all or nothing hitter, Carter’s natural swing doesn’t show it, but his stats unfortunately do.

Another issue many people have is where to put Carter in the field. With the lack of power shown as a team in 2016, Matt Holliday was brought in to fill the DH spot. Holliday is a veteran slugger who will do a great job and give the Yankees what they need.

But where does Carter fit in with the Yankees? Carter has primarily been a first baseman throughout his career and will compete with Greg Bird and Tyler Austin for the job during Spring Training. While nothing is set in stone, it looks like Bird will get the job, with the whole Baby Bomber movement Cashman has going.

After hearing all of these negative things about Carter, what makes him a great sign? Why didn’t Cashman simply pass and let him go to Japan, where he had some options?

Because of his value in today’s game, in which power is essential, and batting average can struggle, made him an absolute bargain.

Let’s crunch some numbers and compare him to another American League East first baseman that shares the same name, Chris Davis.

The Yankees signed Chris Carter for $3 million after he posted a .222/.321/.499 slash line, with 27 doubles, 41 home runs 94 runs batted in, and 206 strikeouts.

Chris Davis hit .221/.332/.459 last year, with 21 doubles, 38 home runs, drove in 84 runs, and struck out 219 times. Oh, and the Orioles paid Chris Davis almost $22 million, as part of his seven years, $161 million contract.

Davis is older than Carter by nearly nine months. The only difference was the Davis, and the Orioles were a playoff team, if only for a game, and the Brewers came in fourth in National League Central. The Yankees are paying around $73,170 per home run that Carter hit last year, and the Orioles spent $578,947 that Davis hit. Value.

Power hitters swinging for the fences and striking out a lot define the state of baseball today. Chris Carter is a perfect example of that, and throughout his career has flowed under the radar. Hitting barely above the Mendoza line through his career, Carter can smash a baseball 450+ feet whenever he comes up to the plate. But striking out and chasing breaking balls out of the zone have been his biggest issue.

If Carter can hit, and prove to be a productive member of the team, then manager Joe Girardi will find a spot for him on the field. Regardless if he splits time at DH or first, or only hits against lefties. Carter will see the field a good amount as a Yankee, and should be a positive addition to this team.