If you haven’t heard, the Yankees claimed 1B Chris Carter off waivers from the Red Sox, blocking him from heading to the Mets as part of the Billy Wagner trade.
The Sox revoked the waiver claim, so Carter remains with the Red Sox until the offseason, when he can be shipped to New York.
The Yankees did this to tweak their cross-town rivals and intra-division rivals, directly benefiting from forcing the Sox to do a little 40-man roster manuevering in September. In the end, however, it’s only a minor annoyance for the Sox in regards to the 40-man roster.
The Sox have Daisuke Matsuzaka needing to be placed back on the 40-man roster, plus Paul Byrd. One spot can be opened up with Jed Lowrie moving to the 60-day disabled list. Another can come with an outrighting of someone such as Jeff Bailey, Marcus McBeth or Hunter Jones.
What I’m more miffed about is the Yankees effectively shuttering Chris Carter’s career. Look, Carter is 26 years old and is a defensively liability at first and left field. He whiffed on his shot with the Red Sox in April, but still has a lively bat. The Mets had ample playing time available for Carter in September, which would have given him a shot to show the Mets what he can do.
Now? Now he’ll head to the Mets in the offseason, a time where everyone will be healing from their injuries and a time where the Mets will stock up on 1B/LF types in free agency. Carter will head to spring training having to fight for a spot. Even if he wins, playing time will be scarce.
Then before you know it, Carter is a Triple-A bat who turns 27… then 28… and his window of opportunity passes by.
Baseball is a business, I realize that. But for such a minimal payoff to the Yankees, they succeeded in killing any shot Carter had of making a mark for himself. Now he’ll just have to hope he either gets to a terrible team that plays him often or an injury opens up playing time.