MLB.com Columnist

Megan Zahneis

Carter is well-suited to help Brewers reload

Carter is well-suited to help Brewers reload

Chris Carter probably didn't expect his offseason to go the way it did.

The 29-year-old endured an off year with Houston in 2015, batting .199 with 24 homers and 64 RBIs, but he redeemed himself by hitting .344 in September on the way to an equally sound .294 average in the Astros' American League Division Series loss to the eventual World Series champion Royals. And, after all, Carter was only one season removed from a blockbuster 2014, during which he posted 37 dingers, tied for second in the Majors.

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Yet, after it all, Carter found himself jobless at the holidays.

The Astros opted not to tender a contract to Carter, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time and likely would have received a handsome raise via that process.

"It's tough going into the offseason with that uncertainty of being tendered or non-tendered, and then they non-tender you and you have to go find a team and be a free agent," Carter said. "It's just something you need to be patient with and just try not to worry about it too much."

The rumor mill made that tough on Carter.

"It's hard not to think about the whole situation and not listen to rumors, but it was just one of those things where you have to have faith in the whole situation and know it's gonna work out for you," he said.

Carter wasn't without suitors -- the Orioles, Indians and Rays all reportedly had interest in his services -- but it was the Brewers who wound up inking him to a one-year contract worth $2.5 million in January, filling the void left by first baseman Adam Lind.

Carter and the Brewers are a natural fit. The California native -- having been a part of the Astros' rebuilding process that culminated in 2015 with a run into the ALDS -- feels well equipped to help his new team handle its growing pains.

"I was part of everything in Houston," Carter recalled. "It was kind of rough for those first couple of years I was there, but then you watch it grow like that and get to a situation where you make the playoffs. That's kind of fun to watch. Watch all the hard work you did and everything pay off, and you finally get to the playoffs and have a good team."

Carter will attempt to repeat the process in Milwaukee.

"Everyone's heard about what I could do and the potential," Carter said. "It's more about showing it out on the field and being consistent in showing it."

Megan Zahneis is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.