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MLB Arizona Diamondbacks

What Do the A’s Do With Chris Carter?

I read a real brief statement about this and it got me thinking about Chris Carter. What a weird situation this guy has been in. He is from Redwood City, California. He was traded from the Chicago White Sox to the Diamondbacks for Carlos Quentin, then two weeks later was traded to the A’s and was the centerpiece of the Dan Haren trade.

Carter was considered the A’s best prospect last year and their future power hitting DH/First Baseman.

He finally got called up last year and I can tell you that I was very excited about seeing this guy step into the box. And, much to the disappointment of every A’s fan, Chris Carter began his career with an 0-33 slump. Not a good way to start. He picked it up a bit with some singles and finally hit a couple of homers. He finished the season hitting .186 with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs. Not exactly Carlos Quentin numbers.

Even with Carter improving on offense, Billy Beane recognized (and rightfully so) that the A’s offense needed some extra pop outside of the current players. So, he went out this offseason and got Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham. The A’s are still in the conversation for Adrian Beltre and they traded for David DeJesus.

So with an outfield that looks pretty solid with DeJesus, Coco Crisp, Ryan Sweeney, Conor Jackson (a scrub in my humble opinion), and Willingham, the outfield is pretty stocked.

And, with Beane and Geren anointing Daric Barton as the everyday first baseman and bringing in Matsui for everyday DH, where does that leave mega-potential guy Chris Carter?

Logic says he begins the season in Sacramento so he can get regular at-bats. But for how long? Is Carter going to be the A’s all-time great triple A player? Does he have enough value to trade for a solid pitcher or another big hitter? It’s a tough question. Problem is, did they see enough in his time in the majors last year to know what he can be? Or, do the A’s need to get him more time to increase his value? Or, do they keep him in Sacramento until Matsui or Barton get hurt? If anything, I would push for the last option. Given the A’s injury history and Matsui’s age, I think the more depth the better.

But Carter needs to boost his confidence big-time. Could Daric Barton become trade bait to make room for Carter? I would like to see it but my guess is that he draws too many walks and is too good of a fielder for Geren and Beane to want to trade… in other words, he’s too much of an A’s guy. I hope Carter gets his chance. I would much rather see him in green and gold than in the RiverCats box score.

Is Chris Carter destined to spend his prime in Triple A?