Carter is making a bid to land on the opening-day roster for the Mets as a pinch-hitter after posting a .444 batting average and three home runs through 10 spring-training games.
"He has put his name in the hat very strongly, no doubt about that," Mets manager Jerry Manuel told The Star-Ledger. "I've been very impressed with his at-bats.?
The 27-year-old was acquired by the Mets from the Red Sox along with minor leaguer Eddie Lora for Billy Wagner last fall. The Mets hoped to showcase Carter in September to evaluate whether or not the slugger could help the team in 2010. In a gambit, however, the Yankees claimed Carter — who needed to clear waivers for the deal to go through — in an attempt to restrict Boston's late-season roster maneuvering. The Red Sox then had to pull Carter back and wait to ship him to the Mets until after the World Series, once trade restrictions were officially lifted.
The window of opportunity for Carter to make the Mets' major league roster appeared to close following that delay, but he has done all he can this spring to assure himself of a spot on the squad this year.
Carter spent just over two years with the Red Sox after he was acquired in August of 2007 for Wily Mo Pena. Like Pena, Carter has a reputation as being a terrific power hitter who is a liability on defense. He made the Red Sox' roster to begin 2009 but was sent to Triple-A Pawtucket in late April. With the PawSox, he cranked 16 home runs and posted a .294 batting average over 428 at-bats.
Now, Carter will try to break through and make good on the promise Boston saw in him.