The Boston Red Sox spent yesterday's off day picking up Seattle left handed hitter 1B/OF Mike Carp. Carp had been designated for assignment by the Mariners, but the Red Sox picked him up for a player to be named later. What does this mean in Boston? Well, first of all, first base is a log jam. Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava, Lyle Overbay and Carp all plan on trying out for first base, but with Carp also able to play in the outfield, he may be the better option to be Napoli's backup.
When asked about the newly acquired Mike Carp, manager John Farrell said,
It increases the competition between first and at left field. We have been able to add a talented player to camp here,someone that we have had conversations with throughout the course of the offseason...Another left handed hitter that has that versatility on the defensive side.
Carp is pretty excited to be a Red Sox player as well, as he posted his thoughts on twitter. (@CarpusMaximus20):
Overwhelmed by the support from my new fans in Boston. Can't wait to don my Red Sox uni and put a few dents in the Monster See you guys soon
Competition between Overbay and Carp will go on all Spring Training. Who will win the battle? Let's take a look at the comparisons:
1)Their contracts. Carp is out of options, which means that if the Red Sox send him down to the minors, they will first have to put him on the waiver wire, and he will most likely get picked up by another team. Overbay was signed to a minor league contract, so he can opt out of his contract at the end of March if he wants to. Edge: Carp
2) Flexibility. Carp can play first base and outfield, Overbay has only played first base in his career. Edge: Carp.
3) Age: Carp is 26 years old, Overbay is 36 years old. Edge: Carp
4) Experience. Carp 173 games, Overbay 1324 games. Edge: Overbay
5) Power. While Carp has only gathered 18 homeruns in his short career, he did hit 12 in only 290 at bats in 2011. That projects to about 26 homeruns if he played the whole season. Overbay averaged 16 homeruns a season from 2004-2010. Edge:Carp
6) On base plus slugging percentage. Carp .740 OPS, Overbay: .791 OPS. Edge: Overbay
7) Batting Average. Carp has a career .255 average, Overbay has a career .270 average. Edge: Overbay
8) Hair. Both have strawberry blonde hair, and both can carry a nice playoff beard if needed. Edge: TIE
Result: Carp wins by a slight edge of 4 to 3.
If my expert analysis holds true (hah!), then Carp will be Mike Napoli's backup at first this year and will be the third left fielder behind Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes.
All in all, this is just another of the many question marks that the 2013 Boston Red Sox have this season. Should be a very interesting beginning.
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Peter Lepak 2/21/2013 06:54:00 PM Tweet