Yankees Trade Target: Chris Carter

Scott Halleran

The Yankees need to make moves to improve their putrid offense. In the last 30 days, they have had the worst offense in baseball with a 68 wRC+. Not one of the worst, the worst. The Marlins, Astros, Mets, and White Sox have all been better. They have the second worst overall WAR in the last month, 0, which is only worse than the Astros and their -0.8 WAR. This team needs help, not just help for now, but help in the future if the budget is going to continue to be an issue and the 2014 free agent class is as barren as it looks. The Yankees can save money for Robinson Cano's contract by acquiring players who are already under contract and who are relatively cheap.

Nick Cafardo suggests the Yankees could go after Houston's Chris Carter:

Carter is an interesting righthanded bat the Astros would move for the right package of young players. The Yankees are a possibility since they need a righthanded hitter who can play first base and the outfield. Carter strikes out a ton. He led the AL with 109 whiffs entering Saturday, but also had hit 15 homers and knocked in 40 runs. At 26, Carter could be an intriguing option.

There is some good and some bad, like with any player, especially those once deemed as fringe major leaguers, but I think the good comes out on top. In 2013 he has a 115 wRC+ and is hitting .231/.323/.458 in 300 plate appearances.

The Yankees are in need of a right-handed bat and someone who can play first base and outfield, versatility they have missed since Nick Swisher left. They already tried Lyle Overbay in the outfield, but he doesn't hit enough to really make it worth it.

Unfortunately, as a right-handed hitter, Carter would not be able to take advantage of the short porch in right field (270 wRC+ when pulling the ball), but that doesn't mean his power will be swallowed up by left field. StatCorner, a site that establishes platoon Park Factors for stadiums, confirms that he has had success in environments that have proved to be unkind to right-handed hitters. In Safeco Field, with a Park Factor of 73 and 85 for right-handed home runs and doubles, respectively, Carter has an .859 OPS with five home runs in 66 plate appearances. In Angels Stadium, with a Park Factor of 82 and 91, he has a .910 OPS with three home runs in 42 plate appearances.

He already has some success in the AL East against the Yankees and Orioles. In Yankee Stadium, with a Park Factor of 103 and 99, Carter has a .903 OPS with two home runs in 23 plate appearances. In Camden Yards, a stadium with Park Factors of 117 and 96, he has a 1.218 OPS and two home runs in 13 plate appearances.

On top of that he has a very even platoon split against righties (108) and lefties (109), so he wouldn't have to be platooned.

Chris Carter strikes out a lot. He currently leads the major leagues with 109 strikeouts, but he's in the top 30 with 35 walks. If he was on the Yankees right now he would be second on the team in walks. Only Cano has one more because he has 10 intentional walks, while Carter only has one. Despite all the strikeouts, he has only grounded into four double plays, while Robinson Cano (11), Lyle Overbay (9), Chris Stewart (6), Brett Gardner (5), Ichiro Suzuki (5) have more. His 15 home runs would give him the second most home runs on the team, second only to Cano.

Carter is 26 years old and would be the youngest player in the daily lineup, other than David Adams. Acquiring him would be an investment for the future. He might not be an All-Star, but he would be a useful role player in 2013 and is under team control through 2019. If this team is going to have a budget crunch they need to have some young, cheap talent to compliment their old and expensive core. The Yankees tend to use old starters on expensive one year deals for their bench, but Carter could be a change that would allow them to save money in one place and spend more in another.

Before the season he was traded by the Oakland Athletics to the Astros in a package for Jed Lowrie, so it's hard to determine his exact trade value. The Astros would want something of value for giving up six years of team control, but not too much considering it is only Chris Carter. Names like Francisco Rondon, Brett Marshall, and Graham Stoneburner could be thrown around because with David Phelps, Adam Warren, Vidal Nuno, Ivan Nova, Jose Ramirez, and Manny Banuelos the Yankees can afford to sacrifice some pitching depth for a little offensive help.

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