Mike Carp Rumors

Mike Carp Requests Trade

1B/OF Mike Carp has requested to the Red Sox that they trade him, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe tweets. Abraham notes that Carp spoke to the Red Sox soon after the All-Star break, but the news of that discussion arrives just after the last-place Sox began trading veterans by sending Jake Peavy to the Giants.

Carp has hit poorly in limited opportunities this season, batting .215/.337/.304 in 95 plate appearances. Mike Napoli has hit well for the Sox at first base, but no one in the outfield has hit much, and the Red Sox still haven’t found much playing time for Carp. A contender could see Carp as an interesting buy-low bench candidate, but his trade value surely is limited at this point. He had a breakout season in 2013, hitting .296/.362/.523 in a part-time role.


East Notes: Red Sox, Marlins, De La Rosa, Ayala

The injury bug has struck the Red Sox again. Mike Carp, who replaced the injured Mike Napoli at first base, under went a CT scan today and it revealed a broken foot, tweets Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. The injury will set off a series of roster moves with Stephen Drew ready to join the club in Cleveland tomorrow. MacPherson tweets the Red Sox will place Carp on the disabled list and and recall Daniel Nava. Garin Cecchini, who made his MLB debut today when Dustin Pedroia was ejected and went 1-for-2 with a RBI double, told reporters (including Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com) he will have dinner with his parents and then report to Triple-A Pawtucket. Prior to the announcement of Carp’s injury, the Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber outlined how the Red Sox could juggle playing time with the addition of Drew.

Elsewhere in baseball’s East divisions:

  • The Marlins acquired right-handed reliever Bryan Morris from the Pirates earlier in the day and the team is already being criticized for the move. Fangraph’s Dave Cameron opines Morris is a below replacement level pitcher and giving up the 39th pick in the draft for him (an asset worth several million dollars) is “beyond crazy” (Twitter links).
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio agrees with Cameron tweeting Morris is not worth past number 39 picks like Lance Lynn (Cardinals), Anthony Ranaudo (Red Sox), and Joey Gallo (Rangers).
  • Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill defended the trade to reporters, including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Juan C. Rodriguez. “We had a need,” Hill said. “It was in our bullpen. We were looking for the piece that was the right fit for us in terms of controlling, not just short-term, but long-term, and [Morris] had the stuff to help our club as well.
  • Hill also said the trade “is the first piece” as he attempts to strengthen the second-place Marlins. “I don’t think we’re finished in trying to improve our club. We’re still trying to make as many improvements as we think we can to help this team.
  • Alex Speier of WEEI.com chronicles the development of Red Sox right-hander Rubby De La Rosa from a prospect who had trouble harnessing his potential to the pitcher who tossed seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts Saturday night.
  • Right-hander Luis Ayala, who opted out of his minor league deal with the Orioles yesterday, will pitch in Mexico, tweets MASNsports.com’s Rock Kubatko.

Quick Hits: Pirates, Carp, Blue Jays, Chapman

Aroldis Chapman suffered fractures above his left eye and nose after being hit by a Salvador Perez line drive in a terrifying moment during tonight's Reds/Royals game.  Chapman was on the ground for over 10 minutes while medical personnel attended to him, and the closer was eventually taken off the field on a cart and taken to hospital.  Reds manager Bryan Price told reporters (including C. Trent Rosencrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer) that Chapman "never lost consciousness. He was able to communicate, he was able to move his hands, his feet, his legs."  The Reds' official Twitter feed said that Chapman was staying overnight in hospital for further observation.  All of us at MLB Trade Rumors send our best wishes to Chapman in his recovery from that horrific incident.

Here are some items from around baseball…

  • The Pirates are open to dealing right-handed relievers Jeanmar Gomez and Bryan Morris, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports, though they'd prefer to keep Gomez since he can also start.  Both pitchers are out of options, and with the Pirates facing a crowded bullpen situation, it's no surprise that they're listening to offers for Morris, Gomez and (as reported yesterday) Vin Mazzaro.
  • With the Pirates shopping relievers and looking for catching, Davidoff notes that the Yankees match up as trading partners due to their catcher surplus.  A rival talent evaluator feels that the bullpen may be the Yankees' "biggest concern" due to a lack of proven arms, though several of those young pitchers have performed well in Spring Training.
  • Blue Jays president Paul Beeston and GM Alex Anthopoulos denied that the Jays' lack of offseason spending had anything to do with a new CEO at Rogers Communications, the team's parent company, Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi reports.  "There’s been no suggestion of any type of cutback, there’s no suggestion of anything other than support and of everything being positive," Beeston said.
  • The Red Sox aren't particularly interested in trading Mike Carp, ESPN's Buster Olney reports (ESPN Insider subscription required).  The Sox aren't sure if they "could get something particularly appealing" in a deal involving Carp.  The Pirates, Brewers and Tigers have all been linked to Carp in rumors this offseason, and with Grady Sizemore's strong Spring Training, Carp could be an expendable piece on the Boston roster.
  • Between Jarrod Parker's Tommy John surgery and injuries to A.J. Griffin and Scott Kazmir, MLB.com's Jane Lee feels the Athletics could be forced to look for external pitching help in the case of any more injuries or if any of their current starters struggle.  Lee also addresses several other A's topics as part of her reader mailbag piece, including Hiroyuki Nakajima's status in the club's minor league camp.
  • With the Barry Bonds and Melky Cabrera controversies still lingering in the franchise's recent past, Giants president and CEO Larry Baer told Henry Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle that his club is more inclined to avoid players with drug suspensions.  "We don't have a blanket policy saying we'll never touch a player that has a PED history. But I'd say that for us, it's a larger mountain to climb than others," Baer said.  The Giants will look at such players "on a case-by-case basis" (like recent signing Mike Morse, suspended for 10 games in 2005) but players like Nelson Cruz who were coming off PED suspensions and required draft pick compensation to sign seem out of the question.  "Qualifying offer and a PED association – that's a bad combination. Brian [Sabean] and I both feel very strongly about that," Baer said.


Astros Inquiring On First Basemen

While the Pirates have been linked to nearly every first baseman on the market, ESPN's Jayson Stark reports (via Twitter) that the Astros are also calling clubs about potentially available first basemen. Stark says Houston has placed calls on Mike Carp, John Mayberry and Tyler Moore, though he classifies each of the three as an "unlikely fit."

That the Astros are seeking a first baseman is a bit curious, given top prospect Jonathan Singleton's presence at Triple-A. He figures to be their long-term solution at the position, though none of the three listed by Stark is exactly the type of player who would block Singleton once he's ready for the Majors. This isn't the first we've heard of the Astros looking for first basemen this winter, however, as James Loney said that Houston made him a similar offer to the one he accepted from the Rays.

Carp was a key part of Boston's roster with a strong 2013 in which he slashed .296/.362/.523 with nine homers in a platoon capacity (he has long struggled against left-handed pitching). The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo recently pegged him as a trade candidate, however, given a possible roster crunch. Mayberry and Moore seem like the types that would be more available in a trade, as neither has a clearly defined role on his respective team. In late January, it was reported that Mayberry could be moved in Spring Training. Going further back, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported in December that the Astros could be interested in Moore as a first base option.

For the time being, some combination of Jesus Guzman and Chris Carter figures to hold down the first base job in Houston while Singleton develops. The club also has Japhet Amador in camp as a non-roster invitee. 


Cafardo: Morales, Drew, Cervelli, Manny, Red Sox

Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew both share the same agent (Scott Boras), the same predicament (unsigned free agents with draft pick compensation attached), and the same frustration over their situation, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. "Nothing I can do," Morales told Cafardo. "I don’t understand, but I’m just waiting for something." Morales and Drew work out together for five hours each day, six days a week. "We don’t talk too much about what we’re going through," said Drew, who turns 31 today. "We talk about other things mostly, but he’s been a good guy to work out with and go through this with." Cafardo opines that the pair reside in baseball prison, adding that Morales makes sense for the Mariners, Brewers, and Pirates, while the Mets remain the best fit for Drew. Also from his Sunday Baseball Notes column:

  • According to Cafardo, there are scouts and front office people who feel the best fit for Drew is actually New York's other team: the Yankees.
  • The Yankees are a little cautious about dealing catcher Francisco Cervelli since they believe he's the best option to start if something should happen to Brian McCann.
  • Manny Ramirez is eyeing another MLB comeback and is working out in Miami with Miguel Tejada, but the 12-time All-Star has an image problem to overcome. "He's poison," one National League GM told Cafardo. “I know he's changed his life around and his personality has changed, but I doubt anyone would take the risk, especially with a 42-year-old player. I think a lot of teams would pardon one PED offense, but two? I doubt it, but crazier things have happened. Never take away the fact he was one of the greatest right-handed hitters ever."
  • In a separate article, Cafardo reports, with the renaissance of Grady Sizemore and the very good camps of Bryce Brentz and Corey Brown, the Red Sox's outfield depth could lead to a trade. Mike Carp is the leading candidate to be dealt because of his ability to also play the infield corners. The Tigers, Brewers, and Pirates have reportedly shown interest in the 27-year-old.

Cafardo On Lester, Carp, Orioles, Santana

The Brewers and Pirates have scouts watching the Red Sox, with a specific focus on Mike Carp, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes in his weekly Sunday column.  While it's still unknown whether Carp can handle an everyday job, he wouldn't have to fill that role in Pittsburgh, as the Bucs have been looking for a left-handed hitting platoon partner for first baseman Gaby Sanchez.  Carp has received a lot of trade buzz this offseason though Boston was known to be asking for a lot in return.

Here's some more from Cafardo's latest piece…

  • Sam and Seth Levinson of the ACES agency "are gaining the reputation of persuading clients to take under-market-value contracts if they’re happy where they are," which is why there is a feeling amongst general managers that Jon Lester, an ACES client, will sign an extension with the Red Sox.  “If you’re a team with a big-ticket guy out there, they are the agents you want to be dealing with right now,” said one National League GM. “The teams love it. You can get something done with them."  This past summer, ACES client Dustin Pedroia signed an eight-year, $110MM extension with the Red Sox that was perceived as a team-friendly deal (especially given what Robinson Cano was able to find on the open market this offseason), though it's worth noting that the Levinsons kept Pedroia fully informed of his market value and the second baseman just really wanted to stay in Boston.  Lester, for his part, has also said he'd be willing to take a discount to remain with the Sox.
  • Cafardo speaks to Orioles manager Buck Showalter about the team's recent signings of Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez and how the club weighed the value of the draft picks they'd have to surrender to sign the qualifying offer-rejecting free agents.  Also, Showalter doesn't think money will be an obstacle in retaining key players over the long term.  “I feel confident with Peter [Angelos] that when we come to him and say this is someone we want to hold on to, he’s going to find a way to do it,” said Showalter. “I don’t think our guys want to go anywhere."
  • Baltimore's hiring of Dave Wallace as pitching coach "may be the best acquisition we’ve made this offseason," Showalter said.  “He’s really simplified things for us. Sometimes we’re so mechanics-driven in this business.”
  • "Don't believe" the Blue Jays when they say they aren't interested in Ervin Santana, Cafardo writes.  He also thinks the Orioles could still have an eye on Santana even after the Jimenez signing.
  • Oliver Perez seemed to be close to a new contract two weeks ago when he was weighing offers from four teams, but "nothing has transpired" since then, Cafardo writes.  He opines that the Nationals and Yankees are teams who could use Perez's lefty presence in their bullpens.

AL Notes: Rangers, Bailey, Carp, Jays, Smoak, Castro

Now that it's clear Nelson Cruz won't be back, it's unclear who the Rangers will use as their designated hitter against lefties, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. The Rangers still had interest in Cruz, Grant writes, noting that, in addition to the qualifying offer, they made at least one offer that exceeded the $8MM Cruz ended up taking from the Orioles. That leaves them with a variety of options to play DH against lefties, but none manager Ron Washington likes very much: Mitch Moreland is a lefty, Michael Choice doesn't have enough experience for Washington's taste, and Washington would prefer to keep the Rangers' spare catcher (Geovany Soto or J.P. Arencibia, depending on who isn't starting) available on the bench.

  • With Cruz off the market, Grant, in a separate article, believes now is the time for the Rangers to extend manager Ron Washington. Grant also opines players tagged with qualifying offers are going to think more seriously about accepting them in light of Cruz's surprisingly small contract. 
  • Yankees manager Joe Girardi thinks new minor-league signee Andrew Bailey can help them in the late innings, but probably not until September, Jack Curry of the YES Network tweets. The former Athletics and Red Sox closer had labrum surgery last July. 
  • The Red Sox will try Mike Carp out at a new position this spring, Alex Speier of WEEI.com tweets. While Spring Training experiments like these aren't uncommon and often have little long-term impact, a bit of added versatility might change Carp's outlook with the Red Sox, particularly if he can play third, where the Red Sox are less settled than they are elsewhere. Carp hit .296/.362/.523 in 243 plate appearances last season, but the Red Sox already have plenty of talent at first base, left field and DH, which has led to speculation that Carp could be a trade candidate.
  • Scott Boras blames the Blue Jays' lack of activity in the free agent market on its ownership, Rogers Communications, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. "There is no one who has the asset base of Rogers," said Boras. "They’re a car with a huge engine that is impeded by a big corporate stop sign . . . a successful and committed ownership that needs to give their baseball people financial flexibility." GM Alex Anthopoulos denied Boras' assertion telling Rosenthal, "Our ownership has been outstanding and given us all the resources we need." The Blue Jays' payroll is expected to exceed $130MM this season.
  • Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon told reporters, including Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, Justin Smoak will be the team's first baseman as long he performs. This means McClendon expects new acquistions Logan Morrison and Corey Hart to man the corner outfield spots and DH. 
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow acknowledged internal discussions about a contract extension for catcher Jason Castro have taken place, reports the Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich. No offer, however, has been discussed with Castro. 

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


AL East Notes: Carp, Blue Jays, Yankees, Robertson

The Yankees dominated the headlines in baseball today with their signing of Masahiro Tanaka.  Earlier today on MLBTR, we looked at some of the reaction and fallout to the big move, while MLBTR's Zach Links took part in a conference call with Yankees GM Brian Cashman.  Here's some more from around the AL East…

  • For now, Mike Carp's future with the Red Sox isn't likely to be impacted by the club's signing of Grady Sizemore, an industry source tells MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo (Twitter link).  Carp received a lot of trade interest earlier this winter and now another left-handed outfield bat has joined the team, Carp could be the odd man out.  I'd guess that Boston wouldn't do anything with Carp, however, until they get a long look at the injury-plagued Sizemore during Spring Training.
  • The Blue Jays' self-imposed five-year limit on free agent contracts is hurting their ability to upgrade the roster, Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi opines.  The Jays' inability to develop young talent like the Rays or spend like the Yankees (or Red Sox) leaves them somewhat hamstrung in the tough AL East.
  • While the Yankees' big free agent splurge was necessary to improve the team, Joel Sherman of the New York Post thinks the club needs to focus on more cost-effective strategies.  "It is a horrible business plan, a caveman way to build a roster (no art, all financial bludgeoning). It is a tactic that leaves the Yankees susceptible to this current crew wilting and forcing a rinse, repeat, spend a half a billion in a few more years to cover up more malfeasance in drafting, international signings and development," Sherman writes.  Sherman further explores this idea in a separate piece, with quotes from co-owner Hal Steinbrenner.
  • David Robertson will be the Yankees' closer in 2014, Steinbrenner told Sherman and Dan Martin of the New York Post.  Cashman wasn't quite as firm during a media conference, saying that Robertson is "obviously…the odds-on favorite" but not ruling out any further bullpen additions.
  • In other AL East news from earlier today, the Yankees designated southpaw David Huff for assignment, the Red Sox signed Grady Sizemore and designated Brayan Villarreal for assignment, Zach Links spoke with Sizemore during a conference call, the Orioles may have hit a snag in their agreement with Tyler Colvin and the Rays officially announced a seven-player deal with the Padres.  We also collected more news from Baltimore and Tampa Bay in the latest editions of  Orioles Notes and Rays Notes.

AL East Notes: Carp, Lester, Arroyo, Jays, Rodriguez

Here's the latest from around the American League East:

  • Red Sox first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp could still be dealt before Opening Day, reports Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com. Though Boston has reportedly held out for a substantial return for Carp, and the club values the depth he provies, he might be worth more to other clubs who could deploy him more regularly.
  • Meanwhile, extension talks still have yet to begin between Jon Lester and the Boston front office, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Clayton Kershaw's extension does not necessarily serve as a comparable for Lester's purposes, says Bradford, but his absence from the open market could have an impact.
  • The Orioles are having ongoing discussions with free agent starter Bronson Arroyo, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). We learned recently that Baltimore had active interest in the veteran.
  • Confirming recent reports, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said today that the price of pitchers on the free agent and trade market remains too high for the club's liking, Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi tweets.
  • Recent comments from Alex Rodriguez and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner indicate that both sides believe a return to the field in 2015 is a realistic possibility. Rodriguez sounds as though he has accepted the likelihood that he will ultimately sit out the entire 2014 campaign, but a spokesman said Rodriguez would "get ready for 2015 should the judge rule against him" in his court challenge against his full-season suspension. Steinbrenner, meanwhile, said that Rodriguez is "an asset" on the field and insisted the club would take a business approach to dealing with Rodriguez's situation going forward.

Astros Notes: Choo, Loney, Carp

The Astros aren't likely to sign Shin-Soo Choo, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle argues. They don't want to sacrifice the draft pick they'd have to give up in order to sign him (even though their top overall pick is protected). They might do so if Choo's price were low enough, but at this point, there's no reason to think Choo won't be very highly paid, which means that the Astros, interested though they are in adding big-league talent to a team that lost 111 games last year, probably won't be serious players. Drellich also notes that the Astros probably only have about $10MM left to spend for 2014, and want to add a first baseman and reliever with that money. Also, even acquiring a player of Choo's caliber wouldn't make the 2014 Astros a contending team. Signing Masahiro Tanaka would make more sense, Drellich argues, since Tanaka is only 25 and wouldn't cost a draft pick.

  • The Astros were interested in James Loney, who would have filled a need (first base) and is from the Houston area, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports (via Twitter). Ultimately, though, Loney wanted too much money from the Astros, McTaggart says. He re-signed with the Rays for three years and $21MM.
  • The Astros have not discussed the possibility of trading for Mike Carp with the Red Sox, Drellich tweets. Drellich also indicates that the Red Sox would seek a big return for Carp.