And the Yankees are getting this for less than the average MLB salary.

But other than power, and a good walk rate, Carter offers nothing. Less than nothing, maybe. There’s a reason the Yankees will be his fifth organization. He’s a .218 hitter in his career, with an OBP of just .314. He’s slow as molasses if even gets out of the box, which he often doesn’t: He led the league with 206 strikeouts last year, and has finished first and second in that category in previous seasons. With Adam Dunn sadly no longer in our lives, Chris Carter is the new king of the Three True Outcomes.


A weird part of all this is that the Yankees would seem to have no use for Carter. New York has very high hopes for 24-year-old starting 1B Greg Bird, who missed all of last season with a torn labrum in his shoulder, and this winter they signed Matt Holliday to a one-year, $13 million deal to be their full-time DH. Twenty-five-year-old Tyler Austin, a natural first baseman, was also expected to be a part of the Yankees’ offense this year.

So what’s the deal? Maybe the Yankees aren’t sure that Bird is fully healthy. Maybe they intend to platoon Carter and Bird at first base. Maybe Matt Holliday is old, and they wanted insurance. But I think there’s no specific plan here. I think the Yankees saw a guy coming off a 41-HR season and jumped at the chance to sign him so cheaply. If he flails, or doesn’t get the chance to play, New York can easily eat the $3.5M. And if he hits a bunch of dingers, he might very well turn out to be free agency’s biggest bargain.