FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Boston Red Sox added another left-handed hitting first baseman/outfielder to the mix of players already auditioning for backup roles, acquiring Mike Carp from the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
At first blush, Carp doesn't appear to be an upgrade over the players already competing for the spot -- Daniel Nava, Mitch Maier, Mark Hamilton and Lyle Overbay; the latter three are non-roster players with a big-league invitation.
When Carp makes contact, the ball tends to travel long distances. Of the 12 home runs he hit for the Mariners in 2011, all went at least 385 feet, and nine cleared 400 feet, according to Baseball Prospectus.
But Carp missed 79 games last season because of shoulder and groin injuries -- he hurt his throwing shoulder diving for a ball in spring training -- and was designated for assignment by the Mariners, a team starved for offense. The injuries limited Carp to just 59 games for Seattle, in which he batted .213 with five home runs and 189 plate appearances, and 35 games in Triple-A Tacoma, where he batted .223 with two homers in 139 plate appearances.
Carp is not regarded as a solid defender at first, which may be problematic for a team already relying on a player [Mike Napoli] with very limited experience at first. Carp, however, is regarded as an adequate outfielder.
Carp is only 26, and in 2011 the Mariners used him for a time as their cleanup hitter.
Carp's agent, Tom O'Connell, who also represents Red Sox right-hander Alfredo Aceves, was in camp Monday, pitching Carp to Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington.
Carp is expected to arrive in time for Thursday's exhibition doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College. He is out of options, as is Nava.