Back in January, it seemed almost a certainty that the Rays would have Chris Carter as their starting first baseman in 2017. Everyone around the game pegged the two as a perfect match and they were just waiting for the contract to be signed.
Then an unexpected series of events unfolded.
The Rays re-signed Logan Morrison to a one year, $3 million deal. That same day, news broke that the Rays had signed Rickie Weeks to a minor league deal, but almost guaranteed to make the Opening Day roster.
This was completely out of left field considering all the rumors and speculation that had been running rampant.
It turns out the Rays made the best decision and come away looking like geniuses as Logan Morrison has been among the top hitters in all of baseball while Chris Carter...hasn’t.
Chris Carter in fact has been among the worst players in the game in 2017. He was swept up by the Yankees a week after the Morrison deal became official with the expectation that his home run power would play very well at Yankee Stadium (it hasn’t).
So far this year, Carter has a 61 wRC+ compared to Morrison’s mark of 141. Logan Morrison has smashed 9 home runs this year while Chris Carter has just a lone homer to his credit. Morrison has already been worth at least one win this season, while Carter has been below replacement level.
Let’s take a minute to truly appreciate Morrison.
After an awful, horrendous, truly no good April last season, Logan Morrison has been among the best hitters in baseball. Over the last calendar year, Morrison has a 132 wRC+ which put him 23rd overall in the majors for players with at least 400 plate appearances over that time frame.
In 2017, he is among the league leaders in home runs, wRC+, wOBA, and ISO.
The Rays made the better signing.