MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers have signed free agent first baseman/outfielder Eric Thames to a three-year contract with a club option for 2020. He will wear uniform #7.
According to a press release, to make room on the 40-man roster, the team designated first baseman Chris Carter for assignment. The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.
“Eric brings to the organization a left-handed power bat that is a good fit for our lineup,” said Stearns. “His ability to play first base along with both corner outfield positions adds versatility to the roster. Eric has been extremely impressive over his last three seasons in Korea, and we look forward to his return to the Major Leagues in 2017.”
Thames, who turned 30 on November 10, spent the last three seasons playing for the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), where he batted .348 with 124 HR, 379 RBI and 64 stolen bases in 388 games. He batted .317 with 40 HR, 118 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 121 games this season.
Thames was named KBO Most Valuable Player in 2015 as he produced the first 40/40 season in league history and won the batting title, hitting .381 with 47 HR, 140 RBI and 40 stolen bases in 142 games. He owns a career 1.171 OPS in Korea.
Selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Thames has batted .250 with 21 HR and 62 RBI in 181 Major League games with Toronto (2011-12) and Seattle (2012). The Santa Clara native attended Pepperdine University and was originally selected by the Yankees in the 39th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft (did not sign).
Carter, 29, batted .222 with 41 HR and 94 RBI in 160 games during his only season with Milwaukee. He is eligible for arbitration.