MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers signed free agent Eric Thames, who spent the last three seasons in Korea, and designated slugging first baseman Chris Carter for assignment on Tuesday.
Carter tied for the National League lead in home runs with 41 in 2016, his one season with the Brewers. He is eligible for arbitration.
Carter will apparently be replaced by Thames, a first baseman-outfielder who signed a three-year contract with a club option for 2020.
The 30 year-old Thames hit .348 with 124 home runs, 379 RBIs and 64 steals in 388 games with NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization.
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 majors, hitting. 250 with 21 homers with Toronto and Seattle in 2011-12. The Blue Jays drafted Thames in the seventh round of the 2008 draft.
Thames could add a left-handed contact hitter to the middle of Milwaukee’s lineup, which is primarily right-handed. He was the most valuable player in the Korean league after becoming the first person in league history to have at least 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases.
The Brewers signed the 29-year-old Carter last season to a one-year, $2.5 million contract after he spent his three seasons with Houston.
He’s likely in line for a raise for his 41 homers and 94 RBIs, despite hitting .222 in 160 games last season with the Brewers. Carter also had an NL-high 206 strikeouts.
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