Mike Carp Rumors

Red Sox Notes: Carp, Overbay, Hanrahan

Earlier this morning the Red Sox acquired Mike Carp from the Mariners for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The move provides the Red Sox with another lefty hitting option while creating some additional pressure for other players competing for playing time. Here’s the latest on the Red Sox…

  • The Red Sox aren’t expected to give up a significant prospect in the deal, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports. Carp is out of options and takes up a 40-man roster spot, which limited his trade value. The primary cost of acquiring Carp was cash, Speier writes.
  • Lyle Overbay, who joined the Red Sox on a minor league deal earlier this year, could be the odd man out now that the Red Sox have acquired Carp. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if Overbay could end up returning to the Brewers, who now need a first baseman (Twitter link). Overbay told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he's prepared to compete for a roster spot with the Red Sox.
  • Joel Hanrahan is willing to discuss an extension with the Red Sox if the team is interested, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. "It has been great here so far," Hanrahan said.
  • Kevin Youkilis said the Red Sox called his agent during the offseason, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (Twitter link). Discussions didn't intensify and the longtime Red Sox star signed with the Yankees.

Red Sox Acquire Mike Carp

The Red Sox acquired Mike Carp from the Mariners for a player to be named later or cash considerations, the teams announced. The Red Sox placed outfielder Ryan Kalish on the 60-day disabled list to create 40-man roster space for Carp.

Multiple teams expressed interest in Carp after the Mariners designated him for assignment. The Twins, Astros and Brewers were all linked to the 26-year-old earlier this week.

Carp, a left-handed hitting first baseman/outfielder, has played for the Mariners in parts of four seasons, compiling a .255/.327/.413 batting line with 18 home runs and 28 doubles in 608 plate appearances. Seattle originally acquired him from the Mets in the three-team trade involving Jason Vargas, J.J. Putz and Franklin Gutierrez four offseasons ago.

Carp has a .300/.341/.462 batting line against left-handed pitching for his career and a .241/.323/.398 line against right-handers. I expect his .372 batting average on balls in play against southpaws is driving that discrepancy; Carp won't necessarily hit left-handers better than right-handers going forward.

Brewers Considering First Base Options

The Brewers are considering first base options following the news that they’ll open the season without Mat Gamel or Corey Hart. Gamel will miss the 2013 season with an ACL injury and Hart will miss the beginning of the year with a knee injury.

Yet the Brewers are not in the mix to acquire Mike Carp, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Mariners designated the first baseman for assignment last week and appear to be on the brink of trading him. 

The Brewers will start by examining internal options instead of trading for Carp or signing a free agent such as Carlos Lee, Rosenthal reports. Taylor Green, Hunter Morris and even Alex Gonzalez are among the club’s internal options at first base. Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that Martin Maldonado, Taylor Green and Bobby Crosby could also play the position.

Rosenthal suggests GM Doug Melvin could pursue players such as Lyle Overbay, Travis Ishikawa and Juan Rivera later in Spring Training if necessary.

Red Sox Hope To Acquire Mike Carp

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik recently told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that there's a good chance Mike Carp will be traded in the near future. Zduriencik said a "good number" of teams are interested in the recently-designated first baseman/outfielder. The Twins, Astros and Brewers have also been linked to the 26-year-old. Here are the latest Carp-related rumors…

  • The Red Sox remain interested in acquiring Carp and are “hopeful” that they can complete a deal with the Mariners, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports. The Red Sox view Carp as a potential upgrade over their existing selection of left-handed hitting first basemen/outfielders.
  • There's a "good possibility" the Red Sox trade for Carp, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports (on Twitter).

This post was first published on February 20th, 2013.

Multiple Teams Interested In Mike Carp

7:34pm: Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has indeed checked in on Carp, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told McCalvy that there's a good chance that Carp will be dealt in the next 24-48 hours.

7:19pm: The Twins, Red Sox and Astros are among the teams that are interested in Mike Carp, according Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (on Twitter). MLB.com's Greg Johns also speculates (via Twitter) that the Brewers could be a possible landing spot for Carp given Mat Gamel's season-ending injury and Corey Hart's knee surgery.

Carp, 26, has a career .255/.327/.413 batting line in 608 plate appearances. The lefty swinger was designated for assignment by the Mariners last week in order to clear roster space for the recently signed Joe Saunders. As Cafardo notes, Seattle has until Thursday of this week to make a decision regarding Carp's future.

Any team that acquires the first baseman/outfielder would be locking in four years of team control, as Carp won't be eligible for free agency until the 2016-17 offseason.

Cafardo On Arroyo, Wang, Perez, Dodgers, Oswalt

The Rays shed about $28MM of payroll this winter between B.J. Upton, James Shields, Carlos Pena, Jeff Keppinger, J.P. Howell, and Wade Davis, but that's no problem for the confident organization, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  While the team will look different in several areas this season, they'll still have their typically strong pitching.  The first four of the rotation are set with David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb with a competition between four strong candidates for the No. 5 spot.  Here's more from today's column..

  • Bronson Arroyo has been a consistent pitcher for the Reds, but the feeling from most people and the pitcher himself is that this could be his last year in Cincinnati.  One major league source says the Cubs would be a perfect fit as a strong veteran presence in their rebuilding effort. 
  • Agent Alan Nero said he has taken Chien-Ming Wang off the market until he pitches for Taiwan in the World Baseball Classic.  If he pitches well, the veteran should have a healthy market for a team in need of depth.  The Yankees are keeping tabs on Wang despite already having six starters in the fold.
  • While there’s more focus on where Alfonso Soriano might be dealt, David DeJesus could also be a nice midseason chip for the Cubs.  The outfielder would be a solid fit for a few teams, including the Phillies, Orioles, and Red Sox
  • It looks like the Indians will hold on to Chris Perez for now, but the Dodgers had serious interest in him not too long ago.  If Tribe gets off to a slow start, L.A's interest could be something to keep in mind.
  • The Red Sox have discussed first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp, who was designated for assignment last week by the Mariners, as a backup.  There may not be room, however, as they are committed to Lyle Overbay.  Overbay has asked the Red Sox if he could play some outfield as well this season.
  • Roy Oswalt still hasn't officially retired and he could be leaving the door open to join a club during the season.  Recently, we learned that the Mets tried to sell Oswalt on becoming their closer in 2013, but the veteran isn't interested in the bullpen.
  • Teams will pay attention to out-of-options Red Sox reliever Clayton Mortensen in spring training. The 27-year-old looks to be the odd man out the way the Sox bullpen could be configured.

AL East Notes: Yankees, Carp, Rodney, Orioles

The 2013 Yankees don't project to have as much depth as recent New York teams, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. This could make the club vulnerable, though the possibility of a championship still exists given the talent in place. Here are some more notes from the AL East…

  • The Red Sox might be interested in Mike Carp, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes (on Twitter). Carp, who was recently designated for assignment by the Mariners, is a left-handed hitter with a career batting line of .255/.327/.413. The Red Sox have discussed Carp internally without deciding whether to pursue him, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
  • Tampa Bay closer Fernando Rodney said he has not had extension talks with the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Rodney, who is set to hit free agency this coming offseason, said he would be open to a new deal with the Rays. He indicated multiple times this winter that he was nearing a deal with the Rays, but said today that his previous comments were mis-interpreted.
  • While the Orioles considered trades for offense, they were reluctant to part with arms in potential deals, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. “I'd rather hold on to our young pitchers,'' executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. Though the Orioles didn't make headlines this winter, Heyman notes that Duquette earned the benefit of the doubt with Baltimore's strong showing in 2012.

Mariners Designate Mike Carp For Assignment

The Mariners have announced first baseman/designated hitter Mike Carp has been designated for assignment. The move was made to clear a 40-man roster spot for Joe Saunders, whose one-year deal was made official in a team press release.

“I won’t get to play for Seattle again and that’s a shame,” Carp told Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times. “I loved it up there in the Northwest. I consider myself fortunate to have played there. Not too many guys can say they have four years in at the big league level already starting at age 22. I still feel I have a lot to offer. I’m just getting started.”

Carp, 26, has played in parts of the past four seasons with Seattle with the majority of his at-bats coming in 2011. The former Mets draft pick has posted a .255/.327/.413 batting line over the course of his career. The Mariners have 10 days to trade Carp, release him, or outright him to the minors.

The Mariners’ DH Options

Seattle's lineup has struggled through April, managing just a .241/.314/.349 team line entering Monday's game with Kansas City and hitting an AL-low nine home runs.  While Chone Figgins and Jose Lopez have gotten off to slow starts, the designated hitter spot has been a particular trouble spot.  There has been little production from the veteran platoon of Ken Griffey Jr. (.519 OPS) and Mike Sweeney (.349 OPS).

Larry LaRue of The Tacoma News Tribune points out, however, that while the Mariners could release Sweeney (due to make just $650K in 2010) or bench Griffey (releasing a franchise icon like the Kid is probably not an option for the M's), there aren't any obvious options to fill their shoes in the lineup.  Milton Bradley could see some time at DH since his injury history makes him an unlikely candidate to spend a full year playing in the field, but as LaRue notes, moving Bradley then just leaves a hole in Seattle's outfield.

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik is certainly not adverse to making big moves to help his club, but LaRue thinks it will be until at least June before the M's can "find a team willing to admit it's given up on 2010" and talk trade.  The June deadline seems like a bit of a stretch given that teams will always be looking to shed a big bat with a big contract if the offer is right, though LaRue doesn't think Seattle has the pitching prospects to net such a player.

One name that LaRue doesn't mention is Michael Saunders.  The outfielder hit just .221/.258/.279 in 129 major league plate appearances last season, but he posted a .922 OPS in 282 plate appearances at Triple-A Tacoma in 2009.  Saunders was sent to the minors during spring training since the Mariners wanted him to play every day, and has just a .385 OPS thus far for Tacoma.  Should Saunders turn things around at the plate and earn a call-up, though, his good glove should provide defensive value in left field in Seattle and provide cover to move Bradley to DH. 

Another minor league option is first baseman Mike Carp.  LaRue dismissed him due to his low average at Tacoma thus far, but Carp is still slugging .484 for the Rainiers and has put up good on-base and power numbers in his last two minor league campaigns (not to mention a .878 OPS in a 65 PA cup of coffee with Seattle last year).

And, of course, Griffey and Sweeney could still turn things around given that there's a lot of baseball left to be played this season.  While the DH spot may be a problem for the M's in the short-term, things haven't quite reached Jose Vidro-esque critical mass.

Mets Acquire Putz In Three-Team Deal

THURSDAY, 12:56am: Rosenthal raises the question of whether the Mets will exercise Putz’s 2010 option for $9.1MM now that he’s a setup man.  I think if he’s worth that amount pitching the ninth he’s worth it pitching the eighth.

Putz seems excited about the trade, even if his agent says otherwiseBen Shpigel explains how the deal came together while reporters were in an adjacent room.

WEDNESDAY, 11:02pm: Geoff Baker says the Mariners got three additional minor leaguers from the Mets: pitcher Maikel Cleto, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, and pitcher Jason Vargas.

10:17pm: MLB.com’s Jim Street confirmed the deal.  The Mariners give up Putz, Green, and Reed and get Heilman, Chavez, Carp, and Gutierrez.  The Indians give up Gutierrez and get Valbuena and Smith.  The Mets give up Heilman, Chavez, Carp, and Smith to get Putz, Green, and Reed.

The Mets succeeded in overhauling their bullpen without giving up premium pieces.  Assuming Putz and K-Rod are healthy, they’ll be playing seven-inning games.

The Mariners can try Heilman the rotation, and add good outfield depth.  I’m kind of lukewarm on the Indians’ benefit.

10:02pm: Geoff Baker says a previous incarnation with the Rays instead of the Mets fell apart.  In that deal, the Tigers would’ve included Jeff Larish.

9:27pm: Rosenthal has an update:

Under terms of the deal, the Mets would get Putz, outfielder Jeremy Reed and reliever Sean Green. The Mariners would receive reliever Aaron Heilman, outfielder Endy Chavez and first baseman Mike Carp from the Mets. They’d also get Franklin Gutierrez from the Indians and minor leaguers. The Indians would get reliever Joe Smith from the Mets and infielder Luis Valbuena from Seattle.

David Lennon seems to agree.

9:06pm: Jon Heyman says the Mets would surrender six players in this blockbuster.

8:40pm: MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince says the three teams "appear to be on the verge" of a deal.  He says that if the deal goes through the Mariners would get Gutierrez and the Indians would get Joe Smith and Mariners prospect Luis Valbuena.  Heilman and Jeremy Reed would also be involved in some capacity.  Graziano suggests not all of the players in the trade have been decided upon.  Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik admitted a proposal is on the table.

8:06pm: Rosenthal softened the language of his post – he now says the Mets are trying/working to acquire Putz rather than close to a deal.  He also mentions that the deal would involve one or more prospects.

8:00pm: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Mets are close to acquiring Mariners reliever J.J. Putz in a three-team trade.  Putz and K-Rod will be quite a late inning tandem.  The Indians are also involved in the trade.  Other players in the mix:  Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Mike Carp, and Franklin Gutierrez.  Rosenthal is not sure yet who’s heading where.

Dan Graziano has the story as well, but does not mention the Indians.