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Mike Carp Rumors
The Nationals have agreed to a minor league deal with first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp, his agents at O’Connell Sports Management tweeted. The deal includes an invitation to MLB camp, and will pay Carp $1MM if he makes the big league roster, per a tweet from Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Carp, 28, was an oft-discussed trade candidate last spring after slashing .296/.362/.523 in 243 plate appearances with the Red Sox in 2013. But he scuffled out of the gate for Boston last season, and ended up twice designated for assignment. Over 149 total trips to bat with the Red Sox and Rangers, Carp compiled a miserable .175/.289/.230 slash with no home runs.
Needless to say, Carp and the Nats will hope that he can return to the more promising trajectory he had shown at times earlier in his career. Carp will enter the season with 3.168 years on his service clock, meaning that his new team could control him for two additional seasons if things worked out.
Of course, the Nationals have made no commitments in signing this deal, and the left-handed-hitting Carp will have his work cut out to make the roster. Nevertheless, there is some opportunity: The Nats are somewhat right-handed heavy; presumptive fourth outfielder Nate McLouth struggled mightily last year; and newly-shifted first baseman Ryan Zimmerman hits from the right side.
Here are today’s minor moves and outright assignments from around the league…
- Brewers outfielder Caleb Gindl has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, according to the MLB.com transaction page. Gindl hit .242/.340/.439 last season in an extended look while Ryan Braun was serving his suspension but struggled in both the Majors and minors this season. Gindl, who turned 26 just four days ago, is a career .273/.345/.434 hitter in Triple-A.
- Mike Carp has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A by the Rangers, via the MLB.com transactions page. Carp, who had an excellent season for the World Series champion Red Sox in 2013, struggled in both Boston and Texas this season. He collected just five hits in 46 PA with the Rangers prior to his DFA.
- The Dodgers have outrighted shortstop Carlos Triunfel to Triple-A Albuquerque, according to MLB.com transactions page. The 24-year-old hit just .133/.188/.333 in 16 PA with the Dodgers this season and is a lifetime .160/.188/.235 hitter in 87 big league trips to the plate. The former top 100 prospect wasn’t able to deliver on his upside, as evidenced by his career .260/.301/.374 batting line at Triple-A.
- Also from the MLB.com transactions page, left-hander Joe Savery has been sent outright to Triple-A Sacramento by the Athletics. The 28-year-old fired four shutout innings for the A’s this season, allowing three hits and a walk without a strikeout. He was designated for assignment as the A’s made a series of September callups.
- Infielder Chris Nelson has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A El Paso by the Padres, reports Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune (on Twitter). The former first-round pick batted .233/.296/.274 in 81 plate appearances with the Padres this season and can become a free agent now or at season’s end if he wishes. Nelson, who has experience at both second and third base, is a lifetime .265/.311/.388 hitter in 901 PA between the Rockies, Angels, Yankees and Padres.
The Rangers have announced that they’ve designated 1B/OF Mike Carp for assignment. The move clears space for Derek Holland to be activated from the 60-day DL. (The Rangers also recalled Robbie Ross and optioned Nick Tepesch to Triple-A Round Rock.) Carp had only made 46 plate appearances for the Rangers, who claimed him from the Red Sox earlier this month.
Carp, 28, had a breakout season in part-time duty with the Red Sox in 2013, hitting .296/.362/.523. But he never got untracked in 2014, hitting poorly in a small sample in Boston and then requesting a trade. The Red Sox designated him for assignment instead, and he hit even worse while playing first base in Texas, leading to a combined .175/.289/.230 line with no home runs in 145 plate appearances. He’s making $1.4MM in his first season of arbitration eligibility.
Holland, meanwhile, is set to make his 2014 debut after missing the entire season so far after an offseason knee injury and then struggling with back spasms. It will, obviously, be too little too late for a Rangers team whose season has gone south in more ways than it possibly could have imagined, but the standout lefty’s return will surely be a welcome one in Texas.
The Rangers have acquired Mike Carp from the Red Sox, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The Rangers confirmed the waiver claim and also announced they transferred right-hander Alexi Ogando to the 60-day disabled list in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for Carp with a corresponding 25-man roster move coming when the outfielder/first baseman reports to the team.
After a breakout 2013 (.296/.362/.523 with nine home runs in 243 plate appearances), Carp, designated for assignment by the Red Sox Friday – less than a week after requesting a trade, has struggled mightily in 2014 with a .198/.320/.279 slash in 103 trips to the plate. But the Rangers, having lost first baseman Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland for the season due to injury, are willing to take a flyer on the 28-year-old.
“He’s a year removed from a very good season and has been in a very limited role,” Rangers Assistant General Manager Thad Levine said (as quoted by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News). “He’s had previous success…We hope he can return to that success.“
The Rangers have been relying on J.P. Arencibia to man first base since the All-Star break, but he has hit a meager .186/.242/.389 to date. Carp looks to receive substantial playing time at first either in a platoon with Arencibia or as the full-time starter. The Rangers will also give Carp an opportunity in the outfield, according to Levine.
“We envision him getting time at first base and corner outfield, probably more left field than right,” said Levine (as quoted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jeff Wilson. “Like we’ve been doing with other players, we’re going to audition Mike and see if he can be part of a winning situation in 2015 and beyond and what role he’d be playing in that.“
The Rangers have control over Carp, earning $1.4MM in his first year of arbitration eligibility, through the 2016 season.
Carp, 28, has only a .198/.320/.279 slash in 103 scattered plate appearances on the year. Last year, though, he was a revelation, slashing .296/.362/.523 with nine home runs in 243 turns at bat.
A fairly versatile option with at least two seasons of above-average production and pop already in the books, the left-handed hitter figures to draw a look from contenders. Clubs like the Royals and Reds have been said to have interest in such a player, and failed to make any moves at yesterday’s trade deadline. He will need to pass through waivers in order to be moved. Carp is playing on a $1.4MM annual salary in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.