The Milwaukee Brewers will have a new first baseman next season after declining to take their chances with Chris Carter in arbitration, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY.
Chris Carter becomes one of finest power-hitters on market after #Brewers decide to non-tender him instead of paying likely $9-$10M in arbit— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 29, 2016
Carter tied for the National League lead in home runs last season, becoming just the 6th player in Brewers history to hit at least 41 home runs. He made just $2.5 million in 2015 and likely would have commanded anywhere between $8 million and $10 million in arbitration this winter. Even as a deeply flawed player, he could stand to make even more than $10 million per year on the open market, where power is in short supply this year.
This is the second straight non-tender for Carter, who was cut loose by the Astros last year before signing on with the Brewers. We took a look at whether or not the Brewers should have tendered him a contract earlier this month.
Without any other major payroll obligations next year beyond Ryan Braun (who may also be on the move this winter), the Brewers will likely hear some complaints around the league about their unwillingness to pay Carter after a 40-home run season, and their decision to cut him loose without getting anything in return via trade could also be called into question.
The Brewers don't currently have anyone on the roster to replace Carter at first base, and short of moving an outfielder there or using utility infielders, it looks like they'll have to look outside of the organization.
Whoever starts at first base for the Brewers next season will be the team's 12th since Prince Fielder left following the 2011 season, not counting spot starts by backup catchers.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs