Chris Carter Rumors

Rays Sign Chris Carter

The Rays signed Chris Carter to a minor league deal, according to Adam Rubin of The Mets non-tendered the 28-year-old in December after he appeared in a career-high 100 games in 2010. Rubin reports that Carter will earn $12K per month in the minors and $420K in the majors.

Carter, who arrived in New York in the 2009 Billy Wagner trade, has big league experience in left and right field. The left-handed hitter posted a .263/.317/.389 line in 180 plate appearances last year. The Mets shielded him from southpaws in 2010; all but 7 of his plate appearances came against right-handed pitching.

The Rays will be able to retain Carter long after 2011 if they deem him worthy of a roster spot going forward.

National League Non-Tenders

This post will list all the National League players non-tendered today, but the best place to track all 200+ arbitration eligible players is our new non-tender tracker.

This Date In Transaction History: Wagner, Bautista

A pair of interesting trades went down on August 25th in years past.  One year ago, the Red Sox acquired reliever Billy Wagner from the Mets for a pair of players to be named later (Chris Carter and Eddie Lora).  And two years ago today, the Blue Jays completed their earlier Jose Bautista trade by sending catcher Robinzon Diaz to the Pirates.

Last year Wagner was coming back from Tommy John surgery with the Mets; he'd tossed nine pro innings on the season before Boston made the deal.  The Red Sox picked up the remainder of Wagner's $10.5MM salary, so the Mets saved more than $2.2MM.  Wagner waived his no-trade clause, but only if the Red Sox agreed not to pick up his 2010 club option.  They did, however, offer arbitration to the Type A free agent.  The Sox drafted Kolbrin Vitek and Bryce Brentz with the #20 and 36 picks this year as compensation when Wagner signed with the Braves.  Wagner pitched well in 13.6 regular season innings for the Red Sox.  Beyond the cost savings with Wagner, the Mets have gotten some use out of Carter.

When the Jays acquired Bautista from the Pirates two years ago, it wasn't a deal of much consequence.  He wasn't particularly good that year, and was widely considered a non-tender candidate after the '08 and '09 seasons.  The Pirates seemingly were clearing third base for new acquisition Andy LaRoche.  This year, Bautista posted one of the most surprising 40 home run seasons in recent memory and could hit 50 by year's end.  There will be no non-tender rumors this winter.  Diaz seemed like a decent return for Bautista at the time, but the Pirates cut him loose in November of last year.  Former GM J.P. Ricciardi deserves credit; check out this passage from a CBC Sports article from September of 2008:

Following the Blue Jays' thrilling come-from-behind 8-7 win over Baltimore on Wednesday night, a fan phoned a Toronto sports radio station and criticized J.P. Ricciardi for dealing catching prospect Robinson Diaz to Pittsburgh.  The general manager, who was taking calls, defended the move, saying there were players in the team's minor-league system who had developed quicker than Diaz.  He also said infielder/outfielder Jose Bautista, the player Toronto received in the trade, would be a valuable part of the team in 2009 and 2010.

Odds & Ends: Hermida, Ransom, Chris Carter

12 years ago on this date, the Rangers sent Darren Oliver, Fernando Tatis, and Mark Little to the Cardinals for Royce Clayton and Todd Stottlemyre.  Tatis was amazing in '99, while Oliver was solid as a starting pitcher.  Clayton was pretty good for the Rangers, and Stottlemyre left as a free agent after the '98 season.  For their loss, the Rangers got a supplemental draft pick in '99 and took a kid named Colby Lewis.  Here in 2010, Lewis and Oliver are both Rangers again and make an excellent combo.  Links for Monday…

Mets Designate Frank Catalanotto For Assignment

The Mets designated Frank Catalanotto for assignment, according to Adam Rubin of (via Twitter). The Mets have called Chris Carter up to replace the 36-year-old utility man. Catalanotto hit .167/.200/.208 for the Mets in 25 plate appearances this year, almost exclusively off the bench. Catalanotto will have his career .296/.360/.456 line against righties to point to if the Mets release him.

Carter has just 26 big league plate appearances to his name, but he is hitting well at Triple A Buffalo. His .339/.395/.615 line was enough to impress the Mets front office. The 27-year-old's 132 minor league homers suggest he could provide the Mets with some power.

Mets, Red Sox Complete Billy Wagner Trade

The Mets and Red Sox completed the Billy Wagner trade today, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post.  Hubbuch says the Mets acquired outfielder Chris Carter and first baseman Eddie Lora to finish the deal.  The Red Sox had to wait until the offseason to send Carter to the Mets because of a waiver claim made by the Yankees in August.

Wagner pitched well in his time with Boston, posting a 1.72 ERA, 26 strikeouts, and 8 walks in 15.6 innings.  He could also have an impact in the playoffs.  The Red Sox agreed to decline Wagner's $8MM option for 2010, but the pitcher expects the team to offer arbitration.  He told WEEI's Rob Bradford he'll probably turn it down, which would mean a new team will have to surrender a draft pick to sign him.

Chris Carter Designated For Assignment

The Boston Red Sox have designated Chris Carter for assignment, according to a press release. The 27-year-old outfielder played in 13 games for the Red Sox in 2008 and 2009, and was hitless in five plate appearances this season. The New York Yankees claimed him off waivers a month ago in an attempt to complicate Boston's roster moves, as Carter was thought to be the player to be named later in the deal that sent Billy Wagner to the Sox.

The Red Sox designated Carter for assignment to make room on their active roster for left-handed pitcher Dustin Richardson, who Boston selected in the fifth round of the 2006 draft.

Rosenthal’s Full Count Video: Penny, Harden, Lidge

Rumor machine Ken Rosenthal has a new Full Count Video up at Let's dive on in…

  • The outcome of this weekend's games could determine which team the recently released Brad Penny signs with. The Giants and Marlins are the two teams pursuing him the most, but the Giants are in a better position in the NL Wildcard standings.
  • The Yankees, Twins, and A's are also expressing interest in the righthander, but "what pitcher in his right mind would want to stay in the American League?"
  • The A's and Padres have even "floated the idea" of signing Penny beyond the rest of this season, but Penny's best bet might be to go to a team like the Giants and reestablish himself in a pennant race, then go back into the free agent pool this winter on a high note.
  • The Cubs are more open to dealing Rich Harden to the Twins than you might think. The Cubs could receive two high draft picks if they offer Harden arbitration after the season and he signs elsewhere, but that's a risky strategy. Given his injury history, the club might not want to take a $10MM or so hit if he accepts, even for only one year.
  • The bigger question with Harden may be how aggressive the Twins will be in trying to deal for him. Remember that stars Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan have said the team needs more to contend, with Morneau mentioning that the team needs to impress Joe Mauer since he's due to become a free agent after next season.
  • Yes, the Yankees were messing with the Red Sox when they claimed Chris Carter off waivers, but Boston's 40-man roster only has 38 players on it at the moment. Daisuke Matsuzaka will assume one of those spots when he comes off the 60-day DL, and the other is reserved for Paul Byrd.
  • People might need to relax when it comes to Brad Lidge's struggles. His recent blown save against the Pirates might be the result of overuse, as Lidge was pitching for the fourth straight day. He had done it twice before this season, but he entered game three of that stretch with a four-run lead. Manager Charlie Manuel may need to be more careful with how he uses his closer down the stretch.

Odds & Ends: Yankees, Kazmir, Torres

My momma always said, "Odds & Ends posts are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get…"

  • Joel Sherman of The NY Post says that the Yankees negotiated with then-free agent Paul Byrd earlier in the summer, but refused to meet his request of a guaranteed September call-up. Once the Red Sox signed Byrd, Yanks' brass assumed that they had agreed to Byrd's demand, and then claimed Chris Carter off waivers in hopes of creating some 40-man roster havoc for their main rival.
  •'s Tom Verducci provides some insight into why the Rays traded (or will trade, since we're still waiting on an official announcement) Scott Kazmir. He notes that while he is still very young, Kazmir's velocity has been dropping and his strikeout rate is declining.
  • Alex Torres, one of the players involved in the Kazmir trade, was named one of this week's hottest prospects in Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet.

Report: Chris Carter Claimed By Yankees

7:07pm: Buster Olney has some more color to this "he claimed, she claimed" story.

Olney writes in ESPN the Magazine, "The rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox burns strongly even when it comes to waiver claims.

"When the Mets and Red Sox worked out a trade for left-hander Billy Wagner earlier this week, Chris Carter, an outfielder-first baseman currently playing for Class AAA Pawtucket, became part of the deal as a player to be named headed to Boston. In preparation for the deal, the Red Sox placed Carter on waivers, with the intention of moving him on to the Mets.

"But the Yankees placed a claim on Carter — perhaps to create some 40-man roster discomfort for the Red Sox. In order to complete the Mets trade, the Red Sox are now pulling Carter back from waivers — and for the rest of the year, they must carry him on their 40-man roster.

"And Boston may struggle to squeeze bodies onto its 40-man roster in September. When Paul Byrd was a free agent, he informed teams that as a condition for signing him, he wanted a guarantee that he would be added to the 40-man roster for the final month. If Boston has made that same concession, the Carter claim by the Yankees might have made that just a little more difficult."

5:50pm: In what should come as a surprise to no one, Amalie Benjamin clarifies that the Red Sox have pulled Carter back, and will deal him in the offseason.

5:30pm: Because it wouldn't be a normal day without some bad news for the Mets, Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reports on her Twitter account that Chris Carter, the more significant of the two players rumored to be headed to the Mets in exchange for Billy Wagner, has been claimed by the New York Yankees.

It isn't clear that this hurts the Red Sox any, since the trade is not dependent on Carter passing through waivers. Instead, the claim prevents the Mets from getting a first-hand look at Carter until after the season. Presumably, the Red Sox will pull him back, though they also have the option of working out a deal with the Yankees (not likely) or letting the Yankees have him for nothing (see previous parenthetical statement). So much for city unity.

Worth noting: the Yankees have the best record in the American League, meaning that 1) no one else in the AL claimed Carter, 2) if they hadn't claimed Carter, the Red Sox could have traded him to the Mets without any problem had the National League followed suit, and 3) the Yankees, apparently, weren't willing to show pity upon their injury-shattered New York brethren.