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.