The Seattle Mariners recently designated Mike Carp for assignment, meaning the team has 10 days to release, outright to the minors or trade the 26-year-old first baseman. The move was made in order for the Mariners to make room on their roster for the newly signed Joe Saunders.
It isn’t sexy and wouldn’t cause a big buzz among the fan base, but the Boston Red Sox should be trying to acquire Carp for a player to be named later. The player to be named later could come from the last couple of bullpen arms to be cut from the team.
Carp is by no means a great player, but he has shown himself to be a solid major league player over his four seasons at the major league level. His career slash line of .255/.327/.413 indicates that he has been able to hold his own during his limited time in the majors.
The reason that Carp comes into play is the age and injury history of David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Jacoby Ellsbury. Carp would give the Red Sox another solid, competent player on the roster that could handle first base, designated hitter and left field if needed.
Once Ortiz went out of the lineup last season, the Red Sox struggled to generate any offense with the mega-trade with Los Angeles Dodgers. Ortiz should be ready for Opening Day as he recovers from a Achilles injury suffered last season.
Napoli is new to the Red Sox and should handle most of the chores and responsibilities at first base. Boston and Napoli spent over a month renegotiating his free agent deal over concerns about a degenerative condition in Napoli’s hip. It likely rules out Napoli spending any time behind the plate for the Red Sox.
Center fielder Ellsbury has missed major portions of two of the last three seasons due to injury. Even though both injuries were of the fluke variety, it still is something the Red Sox need to be aware of going into the 2013 season.
Most of Boston’s biggest prospects need additional seasoning in the minor leagues, meaning Carp would give the team protection against having to rush someone to the majors to fill a need.
Looking at the Red Sox in 2013, I am cautiously optimistic that the team can contend in the AL East this year if their starting pitching can rebound under John Farrell.
The Red Sox need to have an offense that can absorb an injury or two along the way, meaning that having good depth at the major league level and also in the minors is a necessity.
Adding a player like Carp to the bench is something the Red Sox should look at all spring.
You can reach Jonathan Cullen:
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Writing about the Boston Red Sox at www.baseballslate.com