The Milwaukee Brewers have found their next first baseman, agreeing to terms with Eric Thames on a 3 year, $16 million deal with a fourth year club option. After deciding they would non-tender 1B Chris Carter on Monday night, the Brewers did not waste any time finding his replacement. Carter, who was expected to make about $8-$9 million through arbitration, was designated for assignment on Tuesday morning.
Thames, 30, has spent the last three seasons with the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization. The KBO is known to be extremely hitter friendly, but Thames did his best to impress during his time in Korea. In 388 games, Thames batted .348 with a .450 on-base percentage and a .720 slugging percentage. He will make $4 million in 2017, $5 million in 2018, and $6 million in 2019. There is a $1 million buy-out if the Brewers do not pick up his fourth year option.
Carter, who hit 41 home runs last season with the Brewers, looks to become one of the most valuable sluggers on the market. Despite his high strikeout numbers and low average, Carter should find a team looking for a guy with a big bat. Milwaukee will attempt to trade him over the next day, but with very little bargaining power, it is unlikely they are able to make a deal.