Although he had a slow start to the 2015 campaign, Carter had success with the Astros in the postseason. Over twenty playoff plate appearances, Carter batted .294/.400/.529.
Carter, 28, batted .199/.307/.427 to complement 24 home runs and 64 RBIs over 129 games last season. However, throughout the second half he had a bit more success, batting .240/.328/.558 to complement nine home runs over his final 120 at-bats.
While Carter was able to adjust and produce after the All-Star break, his high strike out rate could prove to be troubling. Carter struck out in 32.9 percent of his at-bats in 2015 and that figure has been above 30 percent in each of the last four seasons.
As a result of Carter's inconsistencies, the Astros could consider other alternatives at first base. However, there are few free agent first baseman that had a notable amount of success in 2015. Chris Davis has played well but still has high strikeout numbers coupled with lower averages. Mike Napoli, Mark Reynolds and Steve Pearce have not had much more success.
Justin Morneau has a $9 million club option, however he has been plagued by injuries and is not likely to be considered. Adam Lind has an $8 million option in place for 2016 and could be an intriguing candidate if it is not exercised.
Although the Astros appear open to moving him, Carter's power from the right side of the plate could make him an attractive first base option for clubs seeking depth. Since he did perform well throughout the second half, Houston might ask for a lot in return. But if the Astros are unable to find a deal they like, keeping Carter remains a realistic option.