Astros and Chris Carter avoid arbitration

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Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Astros and DH Chris Carter have avoided arbitration with a one-year deal worth $4.175 million. Carter was eligible for arbitration for the first of four years.

Carter, 28, had a breakout season for the Astros in 2014, batting .227/.308/.491 with 37 home runs and 88 RBI in 572 plate appearances. Part of his offensive success can be attributed to striking out 30 fewer times than he did in 2013 in a comparable amount of PA’s.

Carter was taken by the White Sox in the 15th round of the 2005 draft. He went to the Diamondbacks in the Carlos Quentin deal in December 2007 and shortly thereafter went to the Athletics (along with Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson) in the Dan Haren trade. The Astros acquired him in February 2013 in the Jed Lowrie trade.

Rumor: MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1

David Price and Mookie Betts
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.

In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.

Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.

Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.