Eric Thames to Brewers: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 27: Eric Thames #10 of the Seattle Mariners reacts against the Minnesota Twins on August 27, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Mariners defeated the Twins 1-0. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers added a potentially huge power bat Tuesday by signing first baseman Eric Thames to a three-year contract.

The Brewers announced the move, noting they designated first baseman Chris Carter for assignment.

MLB.com's Adam McCalvy was the first to report the news. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel confirmed the signing and added there is a fourth-year option as part of the deal.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports shared the terms of the agreement:

Per ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, Thames will make $15 million in guaranteed money.

While Carter hit 41 home runs and drove in 94 runs last season, he hit just .222, and McCalvy pointed out Milwaukee wanted more balance in its lineup:

The 30-year-old Thames has spent the past three seasons playing in the Korean Baseball Organization, where he averaged 41 home runs and 126 RBI per year. He also stole 40 bases in 2015 and posted an on-base percentage of .497.

Thames previously appeared in 181 MLB games over the course of two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners in 2011 and 2012.

The former seventh-round draft pick hit .262 with 12 homers and 37 RBI as a rookie before slipping to .232 with nine home runs and 25 RBI in his second campaign.

Thames is capable of playing both first base and the outfield, and he represents a major wild card for the Brew Crew.

While Thames' production in Korea is undeniable, it is difficult to predict how it will project to Major League Baseball.

A recent similar case is that of Dae-Ho Lee, who slugged 44 home runs in Korea in 2010 before hitting 14 for the Mariners in 292 at-bats last season.

Thames will be hard-pressed to match Carter's power production, but if he can cut down significantly on Carter's strikeout numbers (206 in 160 games last season) and reach base with regularity, he could prove to be an upgrade even if the home runs drop.

      

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