TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Chris Carter has gone from NL home run champion to unemployed.
The Yankees said Tuesday they had released the 30-year-old first baseman, who struggled during the first half of the season. Carter hit .201 with eight homers, 26 RBIs and a .284 on-base percentage in 208 plate appearances.
Carter batted .222 for Milwaukee last year and set career bests with 41 homers and 94 RBIs while appearing in a NL-leading 160 games last season. He matched Colorado’s Nolan Arenado for most home runs in the NL.
Carter became a free agent in December when Milwaukee failed to offer a 2017 contract, then agreed in February to a $3.5 million deal with the Yankees. He would have earned his first $100,000 performance bonus at 250 plate appearances.
New York designated Carter for assignment on July 4 — the second time this year the Yankees removed him from the 40-man roster – and released him Monday. The Yankees are responsible for paying the rest of his salary; another team can sign him for a prorated share of the $535,000 major league minimum.
First base has been a problem position for the Yankees this season. Carter was inserted in the starting lineup after Greg Bird was placed on the disabled list May 2. With Bird still out and Carter struggling, the team called up Ji-Man Choi from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last month. Matt Holliday, usually the designated hitter, also has filled in at first base.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)