It appears the Milwaukee Brewers will not automatically choose to keep Chris Carter as their top power hitter for 2017. Milwaukee has a $7.5 million option for 2019 with a $1 million buyout.
If general manager David Stearns had a reputation for the non-conventional, he's surely secured it now, as Thames spent the last three years in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
"Obviously, during my career there have been coaches, organizations and GMs that have given me the cold shoulder", said Thames, who batted.301 with three home runs, 43 RBI and 15 stolen bases as an outfielder for the Loggers.
He has been outstanding in the KBO, however, hitting 124 home runs and 379 RBI in three seasons, winning an MVP award, a Golden Glove Award and a trip to the KBO All-Star Game.
The Brewers have designated Carter for assignment amid reports that the team is trying to trade the slugger before he becomes a free agent. He batted.317 with 40 HR, 118 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 121 games this season.
While he can hit home runs with the best of them, Carter isn't necessarily the most well-rounded player.
He is looked at as a good defensive player and can also play both corner outfield postitions.
There is considerable risk for the Brewers in this move because the pitching in Korea is far from major-league quality. Although Korean pitching is more equivalent to Triple-A ball compared to the talent of Major League Baseball, Thames has been absolutely destroying opposing pitchers in almost every way. He tied for the league lead with 160 games and 41 homers but also topped the NL with 206 strikeouts, a club record.
Thames was Toronto's seventh-round draft pick in 2008 out of Pepperdine University and played in 95 games for the Blue Jays in 2011.
The Brewers have scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference on the signing.