Going into the New Year, the Brewers had a void at first base that needed filling. Both Adam Lind and Jason Rogers were shipped off to the Mariners and Pirates respectively. They signed Chris Carter, and that void disappeared. Carter, who is 29, signed a one-year deal worth $2.5 million with the Brewers on January 9th. The Brewers have a power hitter at first, and Carter will fit right at home swinging away at Miller Park. How much can be expected of Chris Carter this season, regarding performance? Given how he performed last season in Houston, compared to the 4.175 million Carter by Houston, the Brewers have him for cheap. But, there’s a reason for that.
With Houston, last season Carter batted .199 with 24 homers and 64 runs. He was playing bad enough that he lost his starting job for a period, however, at the end of the season, he found himself in a positive rhythm batting .353 with six home runs and 10 RBIs in the last fifteen games of the season. Carter has become known as what many call “a whiff and dinger” batter, that is he swings for the fences and strikes out A LOT. Brewers fan experienced the same sort of hitter with Prince Fielder albeit Fielder had 100+ RBI seasons, something Christ Carter has never done in his career.
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FanGraphs’ Steamer projects Chris Carter to post a line of .222/.317/.456 with 22 HRs and 56 RBIs over 96 games in 405 PA. FanGraphs also projects Carter to strikeout 130 times next season. He still has some power left in the tank, but it’s hard pressing to see a scenario where he remains in Milwaukee long term, that is after the season. The Brewers are probably hoping that Carter will continue with the momentum he ended last season with and used that to flip him for some prospects. That’s my guess. For now, first-base belongs to Christ Carter, but for how long is up to him
As its obvious to anyone, Chris Carter is a short-term solution for the Brewers. If he performs better than most expect him to he’ll net the Brewers some prospects and he’ll be gone before the trade deadline. If he doesn’t, he’ll have provided the Brewers with some time to find a suitable replacement or enough time for a prospect to grow into the position. Chris Carter relies solely on home runs for his value and his value is slowly declining, the clock is already ticking for the Brewers.