Brewers' Eric Thames: Korean import inks deal with Brewers
After indicating Monday that Chris Carter, who walloped a career-best 41 homers last season, wouldn't be tendered a contract for 2017, the Brewers didn't wait long to find a replacement for him in the lineup at first base. In an outside-the-box move, Milwaukee elected to bring aboard Thames, a 30-year-old converted outfielder who last appeared in MLB with the Mariners in 2012 before developing into one of the more fearsome power hitters in the Korea Baseball Organization for NC Dinos over the last three seasons. In his 388 games in the KBO, a league that compares favorably to the high minors, Thames slashed a ridiculous .348/.450/.720 while smacking 124 homers in 388 games. The recent history of players transitioning from the KBO to MLB has been a mixed bag, but the Brewers are gambling that Thames will follow the path of the Pirates' Jung-Ho Kang rather than that of the Twins' Byungho Park. The biggest obstacle he'll face will be adjusting to the higher-caliber pitching and velocity of the majors, but his previous experience in the big leagues may give him an advantage in that regard over previous Korean imports.