Cross Chris Carter off Rays' list as he agrees to deal with Yankees
The field of right-handed hitters available to the Rays on the free-agent market shrunk on Tuesday as two of the biggest names agreed to deals elsewhere.
Chris Carter, who shared the NL lead with 41 homers last season, took a $3-million one-year deal with the Yankees after having talks with the Rays, as USA Today's Bob Nightengale first reported. And Mike Napoli, as expecetd, formalized a one-year deal with the Rangers, which is expected to be close to $10-million.
The Rays had interest in Carter, who also led the NL with 206 strikeouts, but how much is not clear given that the cost was not prohibitive.
Having already signed Rickie Weeks to a minor-league deal, the Rays' options for a veteran right-handed bat on the free agent are pretty much down to C/DH/1B Matt Wieters (formerly of the Orioles), 1B/DH Billy Butler and OF Franklin Gutierrez.
They can also pursue trade options, as C.J. Cron (Angels) and Byung Ho Park (Twins) are among those identified as available. But the Rays may be working on either options, while they consider Weeks, who moved from second base to the outfield in 2015, a fallback option.