Mike Napoli and Chris Carter Finally Have Teams for 2017
Mike Napoli and Chris Carter finally agreed to 2017 contracts today. The Texas Rangers have reported guaranteed Napoli $8.5 million for one year, and the New York Yankees $3.5 million to Chris Carter. Carter can earn another $500,000 in plate appearance based performance incentives.
Napoli’s contract is about what I had been expecting, although the deal reportedly includes a team option for 2018 and so presumably a buy-out. Carter’s guarantee is less than I expected, although perhaps not a lot less.
Fangraphs valued Napoli’s 2016 performance at $8.1 million and Carter’s at $7.1 million. Given the age difference, the Yankees appear to have made the more team-friendly signing. Carter also gives the Bombers a power bat they sorely need.
Carter must feel seriously disrespected after leading the National League in home runs last year. That could be a good thing for the Yankees if it inspires Carter to try to improve his game and prove that 2016 was no fluke, at least in terms of his ability to hit home runs in bunches. If he hits 40+ HRs for a second consecutive seasons, he’ll get a much better deal next off-season, regardless of his lack of other marketable skills.
It’s also interesting to see the Yankees engaged in February bargain-basement shopping. Things have sure changed since George owned the team.
Somehow, it seems like kind of a relief that these two are finally signed. Despite Carter’s talk of possibly playing in Asia in 2017, he ultimately did get a deal that’s just enough to keep him in the U.S.
Guys like Napoli and Carter, who don’t find the market they were expecting, almost always end up signing before Spring Training starts. Still, until it happens, there’s always at least a chance that something weird will happen, like the NL’s reigning home run champ playing the next season in Japan or South Korea.