Chris Carter Was Non-Tendered by the Astros, What’s Next?


Astros: Thanks for the Memories Chris Carter!

The gentle giant known as Chris Carter is no longer on the Houston Astros squad after he was non-tendered about 30 minutes before the deadline Wednesday night. If the Astros had offered him a contract, they would have then exchanged numbers for 2016 salary, which they would have had to agree upon before going to arbitration that is always a sticky situation. The team sits in front of an arbiter and has to explain why that player is not worth the money they are asking. It was estimated by MLBTR that he would have earned $5.6 million in arbitration.

Those players who were tendered contracts were Luis Valbuena, Evan Gattis, Jason Castro, Hank Conger, Marwin Gonzalez, and pitcher Josh Fields. Ken Rosenthal said that Conger was involved in trade talks today, which could be why the Astros decided to tender him a contract, to trade him later. The only other player that really had a case to be non-tendered was Gattis, but he would have been picked up pretty quickly. As I wrote earlier, Valbuena was guaranteed a spot following the Jed Lowrie trade to Oakland as the main third baseman.

To get back to Carter, when he arrived in Houston following the first Astros-A’s trade, he brought raw power to the Astros’ lineup. He was a glimpse into what eventually became ‘Crush City’ in 2015. In his first real chance in Oakland in the 2012 season, Carter hit 16 homers in 218 at bats. That represented a homer every 13.6 at bats in 2012, which caught the eye of the Houston Astros. After being traded to the Astros, he was bumped around between the outfield, first base, and designated hitter.

With the Astros, Carter had 90 homers and 234 runs batted in over his three seasons with the Astros. While his batting average never topped his .227 in 2014, he found a way to get on base maintain a .300 plus on base average with Houston. He was patient, but maybe a little too patient. While he did cut back on his strikeouts from his 212 in 2013, he was one of the kings of swings in the Astros lineup. His streakiness was bound to catch up with him, to the Astros credit, they were very patient with Carter, maybe a little too patient.

With Carter out of the picture, the Astros now have an opening at first base. Cody wrote recently about some of the options at first base; you can read it here: Houston Astros: Internal Options at First Base. However, Cody left off my dark horse candidate Tyler White, you can read my article here: Houston Astros: Bold prediction, Tyler White makes OD roster. The Astros may try to give Matt Duffy or Jon Singleton a chance in spring training; it will be interesting if one of them wins the starting job.

White or A.J. Reed will be given a shot at some point, but I’m not sold on the Astros giving him the early look. The Astros now have 37 players on the 40-man roster, which leaves three open spots. Could there be a trade brewing, which is why the Astros made a separate move that we will talk about in another post.

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I wanted to give Astros’ fans a chance to tell their favorite Carter moment, so please read below.

Agustin Fernandez @Afer9: He hit the first Astros homer I’ve seen live in almost 15 years. It was against the Yanks this year. Gonna miss him Thanks, Chris.

Space City esq @_FredO: Name any bomb he hit in Seattle. Dude owned Safeco!

Art Middleton @GameTimeArt: That time he hit the ball really, really far. (Which was pretty much every time he actually hit it).

THE Thad Castle @EvanBogner1: The fact that he never put an ounce of effort in his swing, but still killed the ball. Now I’m sad

Issa Cook: At MMP when he broke record for most Ks in a season. @youngtuna18 @picook and I gave him a Standing O #FarewellCC.

STROSfaniknow @strosfaniknow: When a bat rep asked him what he was hitting, and he responded “Nothing right now.”

Alex Sandoval @LEXthePEX: Homer off Shark in Oakland after starting the count 0-2.

SportsTalk OS @SportsTalk_OS: Homerun against the Mariners this year.

Next: Houston Astros Should Absolutely Not Deal for Freddie Freeman

To send Chris Carter on his way, I wanted to quote a very inspirational band, Fall Out Boy. “Thanks for the memories. Even though they weren’t so great.” Carter will get another chance and could come back and bite the Astros in the rear, but the Astros could not afford to be patient with the $5.8 million slugger. They have cheaper options that could do better.