If anyone's anxious about what the Brewers will do at first base, they've already filled that particular vacancy with Eric Thames.
The 30-year-old Thames spent the last three seasons with NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization, hitting 40 homers in each of the last two campaigns. The deal guarantees Thames $16 million, including a $1 million buyout of the option.
Thames said he became more disciplined at the plate during his stint in Korea.
While Thames isn't the first foreign player in the KBO to make it back to the bigs, he has certainly made the biggest splash with the multimillion-dollar contract.
In letting home-run champ Carter go and committing to an unproven player in the majors, the Brewers showed they are willing to push the envelope to further their rebuilding process. He was named most valuable player of the KBO in 2015 after belting 47 homers with 140 RBI and 40 stolen bases while hitting.381 over 142 games.
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.
The Angels have signed Ryan LaMarre to a major league contract.
"I'm excited to add a left-handed hitter", Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
It's a gamble. Until very recently, the Brewers did not have a permanent scouting presence in Asia, so their background work on Thames consisted primarily of video study of every one of his at-bats and defensive plays over the past three years.
Thames was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and hit.250 with 21 HR and 62 RBI in 181 Major League games with Toronto (2011-12) and Seattle (2012). "We like bringing good players into the organization, and we certainly think Eric adds to our group of very solid major league players".
The Brewers have scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference on the signing. "You always respect and admire someone who has gone through a journey like this and ended up in a place like this and a day like this".
Thames fills a position of great need for the Brewers, who parted ways with Carter, 29, after just one season and have no other viable major league prospects at first base in the upper levels of the minor league system. "(Thames) still feels he has more to do and that his journey isn't finished. MLBTradeRumors.com has projected Carter will earn $8.1 million through salary arbitration in 2017.