Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Brewers have decided to non-tender power-hitting first baseman Chris Carter rather than take him through his third year of arbitration eligibility. Carter is now a free agent.
Carter, 29, smacked an NL-best 41 home runs this past season while knocking in 94 runs and hitting .222/.321/.499 in 644 plate appearances. However, he was only worth 0.9 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference because he provided little offensive value outside of his ability to hit home runs and he was not a great defender at first base. Carter also led the league with 206 strikeouts.
Carter earned $2.5 million in 2016. Nightengale suggests that Carter was looking at $9-10 million if he went through the arbitration process with the Brewers.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.