Free agent first baseman Chris Carter has been linked to the Orioles and Rangers, per agent Dave Stewart’s comments to Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette of MLB Network. Stewart has discussed his client with at least four teams since the beginning of the year, with the Athletics being the only notable exception so far.
Carter, 30, set a few personal records in 2016, batting .222/.321/.499 with a career-high 41 home runs and 27 doubles in his first season with the Brewers. He was non-tendered by the team in November, and has struggled to find a landing spot with other power-hitting first basemen still on the market.
Neither the Orioles nor the Rangers have Carter pegged as their first choice, as Baltimore is reportedly pursuing Mark Trumbo and Texas has its eye on Mike Napoli. Should either of those deals fail to come to fruition in the next couple of months, however, Carter could be a viable candidate for either team. For now, Stewart says, he doesn’t anticipate a quick signing process for Carter in the week to come (via FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman).
The Baltimore Orioles and closer Zach Britton avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $11.4 million contract.
Questionable move, tactically speaking, by the Orioles. If it were me I would’ve taken Britton to arbitration and counted on his lawyers not calling him to the stand when he was most needed.
On the merits, though, it’s a good deal for everyone. Britton earned a big raise after his 0.54 ERA/47-for-47 save 2016 season.
Britton will be arbitration-eligible one more time next year and can become a free agent following the 2018 season.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo recently asked the Orioles for a three-year, $50 million contract. However, he later told the team he would be willing to take a three year deal for slightly less money in the $40-50 million range.
Back in November, Trumbo was reportedly not interested a four-year deal in the $52-55 million range from the Orioles. Though Trumbo has drawn interest from a handful of teams, his market has not developed the way he hoped it would. Along with the Orioles, the Rockies, Rangers, Athletics, Cardinals, and Mariners were in some way interested throughout the offseason.
Trumbo, 30, led the majors with 47 home runs while batting .256/.316/.533 and knocking in 108 runs over 667 plate appearances. Aside from the homers, however, Trumbo doesn’t offer much in the way of value as he’s a poor defender and base runner, and doesn’t play at premium positions such as shortstop or center field. As a result, Trumbo was only worth 1.6 Wins Above Replacement last season, according to Baseball Reference. Comparatively, an average player would put up about 2.0 WAR.