There have been several thoughts about who the Colorado Rockies could have play first base for them during the 2017 season. Another option became possible last night when the Milwaukee Brewers decided to not tender a contract to slugger Chris Carter for 2017.
In his first season with the Brewers, Carter blasted 41 homers in 2016, tying for the National League lead with Colorado’s Nolan Arenado. It marked the second consecutive season that Arenado had finished tied for the NL lead in homers.
The power is the bright side that comes along with Carter’s resume. Last season, he struck out a league-leading 206 times in 644 plate appearances. That’s a whopping 32 percent. He finished the year hitting just .222 so Carter is a player who is a high-risk/high-reward candidate.
It’s also not just last season that Carter had such a high proficiency of strikeouts and low batting average. Check out some of his previous years…
2013 with Houston — 212 strikeouts in 585 plate appearances, .233 average
2014 with Houston — 182 strikeouts in 572 plate appearances, .227 average
2015 with Houston — 151 strikeouts in 460 plate appearances, .199 average
As a side note, Carter batted .333 against Colorado last season with a pair of homers and three RBI.
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So the main question becomes this … what would the Rockies gain from having Carter at first base? The basic answer is the opportunity for a lot of power from a right-handed bat. It’s something the Rockies have needed desperately in recent years and Carter would certainly provide that.
He would also be available for presumably less than $10 million this season. Carter was due roughly that or a little less in arbitration this year (possibly as little as $9 million) so the price tag would not have a lot of shock value for the Rockies.
The Rockies have options for who could play first base, ranging from bringing back Mark Reynolds to a reunion with Matt Holliday to finally teaming up with Mark Trumbo after the Rockies tried to ink him almost a year ago. We talked about some of Colorado’s options for first base in this article, as well as detailed what someone like Mike Napoli would bring with him to Denver in this article.
There’s no question that Milwaukee’s roster choice has other teams figuring out if Carter could fit into their plans. That, more than likely, includes the Rockies as their quest to find a first baseman for 2017 continues.