The Boston Red Sox have just completed a trade that will bring in 26-year-old Mike Carp from the Seattle Mariners. In exchange the Mariners will receive a player to be named later or cash considerations. The move is a huge boost to the Red Sox depth at first base and in the outfield.
Carp will come to training camp in Fort Myers with a job practically being handed to him. With serious question marks in the team’s outfield and the need for a serviceable backup first baseman, Carp is entering an ideal situation. He has extensive experience at both positions, which will now allow the Red Sox to carry 12 pitchers coming out of camp. That’s assuming he can hold down the job.
Originally, the Red Sox had penciled in Daniel Nava and Ryan Sweeney in the outfield to back up Jonny Gomes in left. They also brought in first baseman Lyle Overbay on a minor league deal to provide some late-inning stability to the defense. Now, if Carp can impress in camp, one of those three will be out of a job.
In 2011, Carp played in 79 games with the Mariners. He batted .276 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI in just 290 at-bats. That’s exactly the kind of production the Red Sox will be looking for from the left-handed batter. Dealing with shoulder problems on two separate occasions, Carp missed over 100 games last season, but he’s headed to Red Sox healthy and ready to compete for a spot on the roster.
Though he may seem like a minor addition to the club, Carp gives the Red Sox the type of player that they’ve been looking for all winter.
(JM Catellier is the author of the book Fixing Baseball, a guide to restructuring the Hall of Fame. Follow him on Twitter: @FixingBaseball and Facebook, and check out his site: www.fixingbaseball.com)