FRIDAY: The A’s officially announced the signing.
Oakland knows what it’s getting in the lumbering Carter, who broke into the majors there back in 2010. But he took only 384 trips to the plate with the A’s before he was shipped to the Astros (along with now-flourishing righty Brad Peacock and catcher Max Stassi) in the deal that brought Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez to the bay.
Carter has continued to produce home runs and strikeouts at prodigious rates ever since. Last year, which he spent with the Brewers, there were enough of the former to make up for the latter; Carter led the National League in both categories. But things weren’t working with the Yankees, who signed Carter after he was non-tendered but received only a .201/.284/.370 batting line over his 208 plate appearances.
Clearly, the veteran is never going to shed the swing and miss. He’ll always hit for a ghastly average (.217 lifetime). But despite those flaws, he has typically been a productive overall hitter, due not just to his power but also his ability to draw walks at a better-than-league-average rate (11.5% for his career).
While the A’s currently employ a productive first baseman in Yonder Alonso, he is expected to be in another uniform by the end of the month. That could open an opportunity for Carter to ascend once more to the majors, giving the organization a near-term fill-in while affording him a chance to set himself up for another foray into free agency at the end of the year.