A few weeks ago, after the Red Sox signed veteran Lyle Overbay to a minor league contract, general manager Ben Cherington said they would continue to seek solutions to their need for a left-handed hitter capable of playing both first base and left field.
Yesterday, they found one.
The Red Sox acquired Mike Carp from the Seattle Mariners for cash or a player to be named. The 26-year-old had been designated for assignment by the Mariners, and although he struggled with injuries last season, he’s only two years removed from hitting 12 homers in just 290 at-bats.
“We’ve been able to add a talented player, someone we’ve had conversations about throughout the course of the offseason,” manager John Farrell said. “Finally, he became available; another left-handed hitter that has that versatility on the defensive side. It increases the competition, particularly at first and left field.”
Actually, it may do more than that. Carp can’t be sent to the minors without clearing waivers, likely giving him a leg up on Overbay, who has an opt-out clause if he isn’t added to the roster before Opening Day. Carp also has major league experience at both first and the outfield, while Overbay has been exclusively a first baseman during his 12-year career.
Cherington, however, isn’t ready to declare a favorite in the Carp-Overbay competition, noting “we’re not making any decisions right now.”
Overbay, meanwhile, isn’t conceding, especially two days before spring training games begin.
“I haven’t even thought about that,” Overbay said. “I don’t want to sit here and say that works out for him, but he’s got to come in here and prove it, too. . . . We’ll compete and see.”
Mike Carp reeled in to bolster bench
Boston Herald | Feb 21