Oakland, under general manager Billy Beane, has become known for their rapid roster turnover and constant wheeling and dealing. However, one player who has managed to stick around in green and gold for a few seasons now is Chris Carter, a slugging first baseman who has followed a bit of a roller coaster path through professional baseball.

Carter was drafted out of California high school in the 2005 baseball draft by the Chicago White Sox, lasting until the 11th round. He was seen as a player who had big time power projection and many thought he could handle the outfield, but wasn't seen as a top prospect right away. He quickly became a sought after commodity, posting 41 home runs between his first two pro seasons across short season and class-A ball. During the 2007 offseason, Carter was traded from the White Sox to the Diamondbacks organization for Carlos Quentin. Two weeks later, the Athletics acquired Carter in the Dan Haren to Arizona trade.

The following season, 2008, Carter erupted, hitting 39 homeruns with a .259/.361/.569 line at Oakland's high A affiliate Stockton in the California League. He struck out in 26.2% of his at bats, which was a red flag, but one that people were willing to overlook considering the power he displayed. After the massive home run output, even in the friendly conditions of the Cal league, Carter was seen as one of the best prospects in the Oakland farm system, but questions about his ability to hit for contact and his lack of positional value at first base made some evaluators question his potential.