2016 Statistics: 160 games, .222/.321/.499, 41 home runs, 112 wRC+, 0.9 fWAR
Age on Opening Day 2017: 30
With Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Brian McCann all doing things elsewhere for 2017, the Yankees could probably stand to pick up a bat capable of producing home runs. There are high price free agent options out there like Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, but both would require huge contracts that the Yankees may not be willing to bite on.
If New York wants to bring in a lower cost option that could add some punch to the lineup, they may need not look farther than last year’s National League home run leader. Chris Carter led the way in home runs for the NL last year with 41 long balls before being sent packing by the Brewers this week. He’s not nearly the complete player that some other options would represent, but he could potentially be a good fit for the Yankees.
With Greg Bird presumably taking over first base, the Yankees would really only need Carter to serve as a DH. He is a capable hitter against both lefties and righties, and could backup Bird at first base when necessary. Carter would also allow the Yankees to move people in and out of the DH spot as necessary because it’s not as if he would be signed to a contract anyone would feel bad about sitting on the bench occasionally.
There is little downside to pursuing Carter. He’s going to strike out a lot and doesn’t hit for a high average, but that is true of most guys who hit a lot of home runs. The Yankees could live with that. Carter is a right-handed hitter, so he’s not going to immediately lose his touch trying to pull everything to right field the way a left-handed hitter might in Yankee Stadium.
It’s not often that 40+ home runs are sitting out on the free agent market for a reasonable price. It would probably be a good idea for the Yankees to jump at that chance before some other team does. It’s fairly low risk with a potentially great reward.