The Oakland A’s have signed designated hitter Chris Carter, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The 30-year-old slugger will report to Triple-A Nashville, says Heyman.
Carter does two things: hit dingers, and strike out. Mix in some walks and you have the epitome of a Three True Outcomes hitter — a full half of his career plate appearances have resulted in a HR, K, or BB. Last year with the Brewers he led the NL in both homers (41) and punchouts (206), grading out as a productive hitter overall, but this time around with the Yankees he took a big step back and was ultimately released.
Carter, 2017: .201/.284/.370, 73 wRC+, 8 HR, 9.6% BB, 36.5% Ks
* -0.7 bWAR, or -0.6 fWAR, soooo safely below replacement-level
He offers no defensive value but can stand at first base if needed, so his fortunes are completely tied to his bat.
Of course, Carter is a familiar face to A’s fans. He made his MLB debut with Oakland after being acquired in the Dan Haren blockbuster, and he donned the green and gold for parts of three seasons from 2010-2012. He eventually went to Houston in a trade for Jed Lowrie.
Hot takes: I don’t immediately understand why Carter is here, but he’s lovable and dingers are fun so I’m not complaining. We’ve got our Trogdor back, for some reason.
Stocking up on an extra body for first base sure makes it feel like Yonder Alonso is going to be traded, which hasn’t seemed like as sure of a thing as you might imagine for an All-Star on the verge of free agency. Either way, the A’s already have a righty DH in Ryon Healy, and another in Nashville in Renato Nunez, plus Matt Olson presumably ready to take over 1B if Alonso goes, so we’ll see how Carter fits into the plan.