While the baseball world was talking about the Hall of Fame elections, a bit of Brewers news came in. It appears as though the team has their first baseman for next season:
Non Hall of Fame news - Chris Carter to #Brewers on one-year major-league deal, per source.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 6, 2016
It was only a matter of time before the Brewers signed someone to cover first base. They had been linked to several different candidates, and have decided to go with Carter for the next year. Carter spent the first three years of his career with the Athletics before being traded to Houston, where he has spent the last three years.
In Houston last year, Carter played 129 games between first base and designated hitter, the majority of those at first base. He eventually lost playing time towards the end of the season, and was non-tendered after the season. It was a down year for him in 2015 as he only hit .199/.307/.427 with 24 home runs and 64 RBI in 129 games. Over his career, he has hit .217/.312/.452, with a total if 109 HR (90 coming in the last three seasons). It's all about power for Carter, which Brewers fans should be used to after Mark Reynolds' year in Milwaukee in 2014.
In addition, the contract that the Brewers got him on is very friendly. Per Ken Rosenthal:
Chris Carter deal with #Brewers is one year, $2.5M with $500K in incentives.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 6, 2016
That deal is very friendly for the Brewers. While payroll isn't a concern, this is a low-risk signing for the Brewers. If he doesn't work out, the team doesn't lose much money from it, and if it does work out, they get a good player on a cheap deal. In addition, Carter enters 2016 with 3 years and 159 days of service time, meaning that the Brewers could keep him for two more years if they choose.
What Carter could be for the Brewers next season will depend on how well he plays. He immediately enters the fold as the primary candidate to start at first base next year. If he has a bounce-back year, he could be a trade chip at the trade deadline if the Brewers want to try to acquire more younger players. He could also end up staying with the team for a few years if he performs well and the right deal doesn't come. Even if it doesn't work out, the Brewers could just release him with little cost. It's also great for Carter, who is hoping to rebuild some value after last year:
Carter on joining the @Brewers : "It’s a great chance for me to get every day at-bats and bounce back after last year."— Kristie Rieken (@kristieAP) January 6, 2016
Since the 40-man roster is full, the Brewers will have to make a corresponding move after the deal is official. There has been no word in regards to what that move will be.
UPDATE: Brewers just officially announced the signing and corresponding move:
Free agent 1B Chris Carter signed to a 1-year contract. C Josmil Pinto designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) January 7, 2016
Unfortunately Josmil Pinto didn't last too long on the 40-man roster. We will have to wait and see if he clears waivers and makes it to the minors.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference