MLB

Mike Napoli Returns to Rangers, Chris Carter Headed to Yankees

Senior Expert Adam Ronis analyzes Mike Napoli's return to the Texas Rangers and Chris Carter's arrival to New York! How will these moves affect the Fantasy Baseball landscape?

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Chris Carter Signs With Yankees

Chris Carter had trouble finding a home after tying for the the National League lead in home runs last season. It was rumored last week that Carter might play in Japan.

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Carter will stay in Major League Baseball after settling for a one-year contract for $3.5 million with the Yankees pending a physical. Carter, who along with Nolan Arenado led the league in home runs with 41, is coming off his best season, but there wasn't a big market for him.

While Carter has excellent power, he has flaws. He doesn't hit for average, struggles to get on base at a high rate and isn't a good defender or baserunner.

Carter batted .222 with 84 runs, 41 home runs, 94 RBIs with a .321 on-base percentage and an .821 OPS with the Brewers last season. Carter struck out 32 percent of the time.

The Yankees didn't seem like an ideal spot for Carter. It seemed the Yankees wanted to give their young players at-bats with Greg Bird and Tyler Austin at first base and Aaron Judge in the outfield. The Yankees signed Matt Holiday and at 37 years old, the best place to put him is at designated hitter.

It makes sense to add Carter since he was so cheap as an insurance policy. He's likely to play against left-handers and if that's the case, it hurts Carter's fantasy value. He played in 160 games last season and that won't happen this season unless injuries occur.

This could also mean there's some concern for Bird, who missed all of last season due to shoulder surgery. Bird played in the Arizona Fall League and didn't hit well or play first base. If Bird starts off slowly or isn't healthy, Carter could find consistent at-bats.

Austin takes the biggest hit here. There's the chance Judge doesn't perform and Austin becomes part of the outfield equation. They could put Holiday in the outfield and Carter at DH, but keeping Holiday healthy would be best with him at DH.

Unless something changes, this isn't great for the fantasy value of Carter. He's likely going to play primarily against left-handers and reaching 500 at-bats is slim.

Mike Napoli Returns to Texas

Mike Napoli was also coming off his best season and the market was quiet for him, too. Napoli will sign with the Rangers for a one-year deal at $8.5 million. It will be his third stint with the Rangers.

Napoli spent time at designated hitter and first base last season with the Indians. It was the first time in his career he had more than 500 at-bats. He batted .239 with 92 runs, 34 home runs, 101 RBIs and five stolen bases with an .800 OPS.

Napoli had a 45.1 percent fly ball rate and a 36.7 percent hard hit rate. Napoli will hurt in batting average and the health is a risk, but he's in a good lineup and can hit 25-30 home runs. While Napoli will strikeout often, he had a 30.1 percent strikeout rate, he walked 78 times and had a .335 on-base percentage, so he's not as much of a negative in leagues that count OBP. He's a corner infielder in a mixed league. It means that Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar will compete for at-bats at DH.

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