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Report: Yankees keeping tabs on Chris Carter

According to a report by ESPN, the Yankees have expressed interest in power-hitting first baseman Chris Carter.

The former Brewers slugger hit .222 with 41 home runs and 94 RBIs last season. Carter’s 41 home runs tied him with Nolan Arenado for the most in the National League in 2016. However, he ranked first in the NL with 206 strikeouts.

As a career “all-or-nothing” hitter, Carter hasn’t exactly ignited a bidding war for his services. The 30-year-old was non-tendered by Milwaukee last November, and even considered accepting a contract to play in Japan in 2017. Carter could provide depth at first base for the Yankees, a position where two Baby Bombers are set to battle it out.

Greg Bird is healthy again after missing all of the 2016 season with a shoulder injury. He got off to a hot start when he was called up in 2015, hitting 11 home runs in 46 games. Bird was hoping to take the next step in his career last year, but he hopes to stay healthy and prevail as the everyday first baseman in 2017. Tyler Austin, the other first base option, doesn’t plan to make it easy for him.

Austin has stated that he is going into Spring Training to be the starting first baseman. He hit .241 with five home runs and 12 RBIs in 31 games during his first call-up last season. The 25-year-old has also been taking reps in the outfield as well as third base.

The Yankees also have Matt Holiday who could play first if necessary, but they view him as more of a DH. Carter could provide some pop for the Yanks if the younger guys don’t perform. He presents himself as a “low risk” option, and is said to be looking for around $2.5 million this year.

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