The Milwaukee Brewers are scrambling to find a replacement for Mat Gamel following yesterday’s news that he had once again torn his ACL and would be lost for the season. Gamel was already the Brewers’ backup plan for Corey Hart while he rehabbed from his own offseason knee surgery, but now Milwaukee must find a backup for their backup. While there are some options already on the roster, the Brewers would be best served making a deal for Mike Carp sooner rather than later.
Carp was designated for assignment last week by the Seattle Mariners, who have until Friday to trade the first baseman/outfielder or release him or assign him outright to the minor leagues. M’s GM Jack Zdurencik has said there are deals on the on table that could be finalized in the next day or two. The Brewers would do themselves a lot of good if they were the ones who ultimately got the deal done.
The 26-year-old first made his MLB debut back in 2009 with Seattle. Since then, he’s been a high-energy role player who has made a living coming off the bench and being a versatile part of the lineup. He’s a solid fielder both at first base and in the outfield and swings a decent bat when given the opportunity, sporting a career .255 average with 18 home runs, 71 RBI and a .740 OPS in just 173 games played.
While Ron Roenicke has expressed a desire to replace Gamel from within, using players like Taylor Green, Alex Gonzalez and Bobby Crosby, none of them are as sure as Carp. There are also potential replacements in free agency, like aging slugger Carlos Lee, but he lacks the versatility of Carp for when Hart does come back. The fact of the matter is that Milwaukee was counting on Gamel as their “Plan B” at first and they didn’t have “Plan C” ready to go when he went down.
In this instance, that “C” stands for Carp and the Brewers should make sure they are able to finalize a deal to acquire the young bench player from Seattle.