Chris Carter led the NL in HR last season, but the Brewers made the decision today to non-tender him. What is the fantasy fallout from this decision?
While the winter meetings loom and more importantly, CBA negotiations still take place, there has not been much baseball news as of late. But, one of the more perplexing moves took place tonight, as the Brewers decided to non-tender Chris Carter. Carter’s flaws are well documented, but to not resign the reigning NL HR leader, is quite interesting. What is the fantasy fallout from this decision?
Let us get the bad news out of the way. Carter is either going to walk, hit a bomb, or strike out every at bat. He is the definition of one of the “true three outcomes” type of player, and that is not going to change all of a sudden. He posted another 200+ K season in 2016, and owners do not need to be reminded of the inherent risk involved in selecting him. When the Brewers brought him over, fantasy owners clearly knew that the move had the potential to pay off.
And, it sure did.
Carter had a monster season .222/41 HR/94 RBI/84 R/.821 OPS helping solidify a dangerous top of the order for the Brew Crew. The AVG is ugly, and will always be so, but his monthly run production numbers were great. He had at least 5 HR per month, while notching at least 11 RBI as well. He did have two sub-.200 AVG months, both also had a monster Sept., posting a 11 HR/23 RBI line.
Fantasy owners do not need to be reminded that the lows are really bad with him, but in a day and age where pure power threats are hard to find, he certainly becomes a must own commodity.
His 41 HR are hard to overlook, and teams will definitely be interested in him via free agency. He is not a Gold Glove caliber first-basemen, nor should he be allowed to venture in the OF, making him a prime DH candidate.
Carter is more than likely headed back to the AL. Meaning such teams as the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and White Sox could be among the top potential locations. These are just a few that appear to need a right-handed power source, but there are plenty of teams who could use a 40+ HR threat.
The one thing that has not changed in Carter’s game, is his raw power. Now 24 of his 41 came at the hitter friendly Miller Park, but he still ranks among the best pure power hitters in MLB.
Based on ESPN Home Run Tracker, his AVG HR distance was 411.2 ft., which ranks him once again in the top-15 of all of baseball. Keep in mind, he averaged this over 41 HR as well, so his power transcends more than anyone in baseball.
Carter now becomes a must watch player this offseason, as the power is still too enticing to pass up. He has very much taken on the Adam Dunn-lite type of fantasy value, meaning you suck it up, and select him for one reason only.
Just too cover all the bases here, this move makes zero sense for the Brewers. Ryan Braun is more than likely headed to L.A., and even though the team is rebuilding, it is hard to convince me that Carter was not worth around $10 million for one season.
Is he a liability on defense? Yes. Is he going to strike out a ton? Yes. But, the guy led the league in HR and nearly drove in 100 RBI, plus they lack any notable in-house replacements. So, what more do they want?
Keep tabs on where Carter lands this offseason, as he will once again be one of the best power sources available next spring.