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Astros Hot Stove: Houston reportedly shopping Chris Carter

Unsurprising to most, the Astros appear to be trying to find a new home for Chris Carter.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Specifically one that will give them something of value back for him.

That deadline is Wednesday, so the Astros have little time to try to find a buyer. If something does get done, don't expect a huge return; Carter certainly doesn't provide any positional flexibility, and many teams may be happy just calling the Astros' bluff and dealing with Carter directly as a free agent, should Houston indeed decide not to tender him a contract.

Carter posted a mere 101 wRC+, failing to reach the Mendoza Line on his season, after posting an unfathomable 26 wRC+ in July and following that up with a technically-better 69 wRC+ in August. The saving grace was a nuclear 229 wRC+ showing during September and October, as he came out of nowhere to help lead the club to the playoffs down the stretch. The Astros will be hammering on that point, and his unusually-low .244 BAbip, as they try to find a taker.

Carter has three years of arbitration remaining, and could see his salary rise to the $6 million range despite his struggles. He made a hair over $4 million during his 2015 campaign. Of note, the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners got the worst and second-worst, respectively, production from their first basemen in 2015. Seattle has seen Chris Carter do incredible damage against them on the road (he has a .911 OPS in Safeco Field, a pitcher's haven).

The Rays, meanwhile, are ever in search of production from guys not making a ton of money. The Astros are also looking for bullpen help, and Tampa has a pair of guys in Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee who could interest Jeff Luhnow. Carter wouldn't be close to enough for either, but if packaged with a good young pitching prospect or two, perhaps Trogdor could be part of a trade to bring Houston the relief they've been seeking.