New York Yankees could benefit from NL home run co-leader
Sep 27, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Chris Carter (33) watches his two run home run in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

After Chris Carter has been non-tendered and is now a free agent, the New York Yankees may have received a golden opportunity. 

One of the greatest power hitters in today’s game just hit the open market and the New York Yankees may have an interest.

The Milwaukee Brewers have opted not to tender their first baseman, Chris Carter, a contract meaning he is one of the most attractive names in this year’s free agent pool.

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In 160 games a year ago, the 29-year old slashed .222/.321/.499 with a .821 OPS and was tied with Nolan Arenado for the most home runs (41) in the National League so it’s surprising given his tremendous power.

Since 2013, Carter has the sixth-most home runs (131) in major league baseball behind Mike TroutDavid OrtizEdwin EncarnacionNelson Cruz and Chris Davis.

That’s at a relatively pitcher’s friendly ballpark facing National League pitching. Imagine his monstrous power takes its talents to the Bronx?

In just 11 games at Yankee Stadium, the free-swinging right-hander has hit three home runs including an absolute bomb as a member of the Houston Astros.

Besides his power, however, what makes him an attractive option for Brian Cashman? Well, before looking at his market value, he is more than just a traditional designated hitter.

He played 155 games at first base in Milwaukee a year ago and also has experience playing left field in Oakland and Houston throughout the beginning portion of his career.

With his flexibility, which sets him apart from Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Beltran — who are more one-dimensional — he played in 160 out of 162 games in 2016, durability that is almost unheard of in today’s game.

Speaking of other options, Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and Mark Trumbo are, in all likelihood, going to wheel in a big pay day with big years and while Beltran, Matt Holliday, and Billy Butler will come with a small commitment but their best days are behind them.

Banking on consistency yet receiving anything but that is a legitimate concern when talking about players on the wrong side of 30. Not to mention giving cashing an enormous check to one-dimensional hitters.

With that said, how can a modest one-year deal hurt the Yankees in any way? Sure, it means Tyler Austin — the kid I very well think should take on the full-time DH role — will slide into a mere bench/pinch-hit role in his sophomore season but that won’t take away any at-bats.

The kid will still see time in the outfield, especially right field, and manager Joe Girardi will have an opportunity to assess his young talent while making his lineup more balanced top to bottom.

The signing of Carter won’t derail the youth movement hype train that’s making its way over to 161st St. David Ortiz didn’t exactly halt the wave of youth that shipped its way up to Boston during his last years as a Red Sock.

Having a power presence can and logically will profit the offense that lacked severe power in 2016.

Furthermore, their presence should relieve some of the burden off the youngsters through the unavoidable ups and downs that most kids encounter in the initial stages of their career.

Enhancing the athletic talent blooming — like Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Aaron Judge — in the Yankees’ system with a big bat would bring what every successful baseball clubs contains, balance.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. Carter may be a premiere power hitter but when I mentioned “free swinging,” I wasn’t kidding.

Since his first full major league season (2013), the 245-pound slugger has struck out 751 times, the second most in MLB during that span behind Chris Davis.

As mentioned, he only hit .222 last season, which is poor even with his home run total and finished second in the league with 202 strikeouts. Carter was slated to make around $10 million after arbitration, which is exactly what the Yankees could give him as he hits the market.

He’s more versatile than other DH options, healthy and packs tremendous power. Sure, the failure to hit for average may be unattractive but don’t be surprised if his name is linked to New York as the offseason progresses.

What do you think, fans? Is Carter a guy the Yankees should venture into signing? Would you rather see them go in-house or maybe another option? Let your voice be heard in the comments below.

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