Could Chris Carter be a fit for the Toronto Blue Jays?
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi recently was a guest on Jeff Blair’s radio show, part of the Sportsnet ecosystem.
Morosi is of the opinion that Chris Carter would look good in a Jays uniform, but this marks quite the departure from the organization’s original endgame this off-season.
A seeming priority of the 2017 Blue Jays going into this off-season was to try to get younger, and diversify the way the team scores runs (inject more speed into the line-up).
We saw these wishes demonstrated somewhat in the club’s reported discussions with the Pirates and Rockies, for Andrew McCutchen and Charlie Blackmon respectively. Both are mutli-tooled outfielders. So too is Dexter Fowler, their other well-known target at the time.
The market clearly did not make that original mandate possible, and alas youth and speed remain an idea that couldn’t come to fruition.
Why not at least consider Morosi’s idea though?
Carter finished the 2016 season with a National league-leading 41 home runs. The huge caveat being his whopping 206 strike outs.
If he was signed by the Jays as Morosi encourages, it could hypothetically work, if Carter figured out how to be a role hitter in this team’s already potent line up. This would necessitate him figuring out how to be more selective at the plate perhaps, and not strike out as much.
It just so happens that the market for power-hitting righties seems to be falling right into the Jay’s sweet spot these days (it’s been reported Carter’s lack of offers has him even contemplating playing in Japan).
Those reports merely lend credence to Morosi’s idea. If Carter was signed, the front office wouldn’t have to “reinvent the wheel” so to speak, with this whole notion of youth and speed.
After all, the team won its last 2 division titles in a row on power. Obviously the starting pitching has been a determining factor too, the 2016 pitching staff boasted a league-leading 3.78 ERA. The only other teams ahead of them in the category are in the NL (worth noting of course that all the NL pitching staffs had the statistical advantage of not having to face Designated Hitters).
But back to hitting: just the thought of another big bat in this lineup can’t help but bring smiles to fan’s faces. Carter could represent that anchor in the lineup in the 4-spot to possibly protect Morales (or another one of our mashers). He lengthens the lineup too, possibly moving Troy Tulowitzki to the 6 hole and Russell Martin after that.
John Gibbons would definitely have the opportunity to hand in some pretty scary power-laden lineups cards – something that has proven to bode well in A.L. East venues.
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The cherry on top of course would be if Dalton Pompey put it all together and became the lead-off hitter we still envision. Now that’s a complete lineup.