After a thrilling 2 to 1 walkoff win over the Texas Rangers, the Yankees designated first baseman Chris Carter for assignment. The team will promote first baseman Tyler Austin to take his place.
Carter went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Friday against the Rangers, and the Yankees had enough of their experiment with the National League’s home run leader in 2016. Carter struck out way too many times to be a sustainable first base replacement for Greg Bird.
Austin found himself designated for assignment after the 2015 season. Nobody claimed him off of waivers, and he accepted his outright assignment to the AA Trenton Thunder. He found himself promoted to AAA midseason, and made his major league debut August 13 against the Tampa Bay Rays. He and Aaron Judge hit back-to-back home runs in their first Major League at-bats.
Austin was a contestant for the first base job prior to suffering a fracture of the navicular area of his left foot on February 17, 2017. He missed all of Spring Training, and opened the season on the 60-day disabled list. The Yankees activated him June 5, but instantly sent him to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He proved his worth in the minors, slashing .316/.388/.588 in 32 minor league games between Trenton and Scranton. Austin went 10-for-34 (.294) with three home runs and 10 RBI in his last 10 games.
Carter, on the other hand, was close to useless. He struck out too often, and did not provide the power he displayed in his 41-homer season for the Brewers. His defense at first base left much to be desired, and often put the Yankees in bad situations. The Yankees only signed him after Austin went down, and only had to commit $3.5 million.
Per roster rules, the Yankees have 10 days to trade, release or outright Carter to the minor leagues. Since Carter has more than three years of MLB service time, “he is eligible to reject the outright assignment and instead opt for free agency,” per MLB.com.