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Chris Carter tied for the National League lead in homers last season with 41.

The Brewers cut him loose after the season. There’s been so little interest in Carter  that this week that he felt obligated to go on Jim Bowden’s show on SiriusXM and make it clear he isn’t heading to Japan —€” yet  —after that possibility was floated.

Carter is not alone. He is an example  of what I think is a seismic shift not only in how baseball teams value home run hitters, but a change that is affecting how front offices evaluate players and that will affect how the public is able to evaluate front offices .

We wrote earlier about the less-than-overwhelming deal Mark Trumbo got to stay with the Orioles

Mike Napoli, who hit 34 homers with the Indians last season, is also looking for a job. He and Carter are rumored to be in line for a gig with Tampa Bay.

Pedro Alvarez and Adam Lind are unemployed.

.Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion received a cool reception from  the market.

Mark Reynolds re-upped with the Rockies on a minor-league deal.

So what gives?

Earlier in this off-season, the reasoning was that there were a lot of power bats on the free-agent market. That is probably part of it.

And home runs are up dramatically in the past two seasons, which means there are other guys besides this handful with power.

None of these guys are great with the glove. That’s probably part of it.

But I think something deeper and more significant is going on. Front offices are using new metrics, proprietary information that is kept secret from others in the industry, let alone, us, is driving decisions as never before.

Carter is a great example. Hare are his state 2015 with the Astros.

Season PA Batting Average On base Slugging OPS+ HR
2015 460 .199 .307 .427 102 24

 

The Astros made the playoffs with a high power, low contact offense.

David Stearns, the assistant GM, was hired as GM by the Brewers. He acquired Carter, who posted:

Season PA Batting Average On base Slugging OPS+ HR
2016 644 .222 .331 .499 114 41

 

Carter was designated for assignment, replaced by Eric Thames, who has not played in the majors since 2012 but has been killing it in Korea. Thames is about to turn 30 and has never played a full season in the majors.

And Thames costs about twice, $16 million, as much as Carter was projected to make in
arbitration.

Stearns is a data-driven guy. So he’s on to something. Which to me, indicates he has other
information.

I believe this bear market for sluggers reflects the dawn of a new information age and closing of another one.

In the past 25 years there has been a revolution in the amount of statistics and their application by front offices — and their availability to  fans and the media.

One of the reasons the Hall of Fame has become so contentious  — aside from questions about how to treat guys from the PED era €” — is that everyone has more access to more stats that they can then interpret.

At one point, maybe a decade ago fans who were early adopters of the new numbers were better informed than many player personnel people, managers and most media figures. The people who still draw a paycheck in baseball have caught up.

Now they have more information.

More on this topic in a later post.

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