Eric Thames joins Brewers, who cut Chris Carter
MILWAUKEE (AP) Free agent Eric Thames agreed Tuesday to a $16 million, three-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, who cut first baseman Chris Carter after a 41-homer season that tied for the National League lead.
A 30-year-old first baseman and outfielder who spent the last three seasons with the NC Dinos in South Korea, Thames gets $4 million next season, $5 million in 2018 and $6 million in 2019. Milwaukee has a $7.5 million option for 2019 with a $1 million buyout.
He hit .348 with 124 home runs, 379 RBIs and 64 steals in 388 games in South Korea.
General manager David Stearns said Thames' left-handed bat and versatility was a good fit in the lineup for the rebuilding club.
Thames spent two seasons in the major leagues, hitting. 250 with 21 homers with Toronto and Seattle in 2011-12. The Blue Jays drafted Thames in the seventh round of the 2008 amateur draft.
Thames could add a left-handed contact hitter to the middle of Milwaukee's lineup, which is primarily right-handed. He was the MVP in South Korea after becoming the first person in league history with 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases.
Carter, 29, agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract after he spent his three seasons with Houston and earned $500,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances.
He had 94 RBIs despite hitting .222 with an NL-high 206 strikeouts.