The Angels have agreed to a minor league deal with first baseman Chris Carter, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets. He’ll rake in $1.75MM if he makes the Angels’ roster and could earn up to $600K in incentives, Jon Heyman of FanRag reports.
The 31-year-old Carter could provide the Angels a replacement for fellow first baseman C.J. Cron, whom they traded to the Rays on Saturday. But Carter will have to spend the next several weeks rebuilding his stock in camp after he fared horribly in the majors with the Yankees last season. The powerful Carter hit just .201/.284/.370 with eight home runs and a .168 ISO over 208 appearances with New York before the club jettisoned him. Carter then caught on with Oakland on a minor league pact, but he didn’t return to the majors with the A’s. He instead took 154 PAs at the Triple-A level and batted .252/.357/.511.
Of course, the righty-hitting Carter isn’t far removed from leading the National League in home runs (41) as a Brewer in 2016, so he could emerge as a quality buy-low pickup for the Angels. While Carter has always been prone to strikeouts (he owns a career 33.3 percent K rate) and low batting averages, his .217/.312/.456 line across 2,853 big league PAs has still been 9 percent better than average, according to FanGraphs’ wRC+ metric (Cron has been 7 percent above in 1,475 PAs). Carter’s power (.239 ISO, four seasons with at least 24 HRs) and patience (11.5 percent walk rate) are to thank for that.
In the event Carter does find his way to Anaheim, he’ll join a team whose first base/designated hitter options were among the majors’ worst last year. Albert Pujols and Luis Valbuena are the Halos’ most prominent holdovers at those positions from 2017, and they’ve since added DH candidate/potential ace Shohei Ohtani.