Carp eager for fresh start in Boston

Carp MikeOne of the tough things about baseball is seeing guys go after you’ve established relationships. And that would be the case today with the trade of first baseman Mike Carp to Boston.

Carp was a first-class guy to work with during his time with the Mariners and did a great job last year remembering his fallen friend, Greg Halman. Carp was the one who put together T-shirts in Halman’s memory and distributed them to every player in the Spring Training clubhouse.

He was one of four guys who flew to the Netherlands for Halman’s funeral and he talked frequently of remembering his friend every day. I know Carp really wanted to play well last season for Halman and for his own career, which finally seemed ready to take off after a strong second half in 2011.

And then he hurt his shoulder in the opening game, diving for a line drive in the Tokyo Dome, and things never got right after that. Now the Mariners went out and added Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, Raul Ibanez, all guys who can play first along with returner Justin Smoak. So Carp saw the writing on the wall.

“I looked at all the roster moves and acquisitions and they didn’t really have a place,” Carp told me this afternoon from his home near Anaheim. “I thought maybe I’d come to camp and have something happen, but I’ve been a casualty of roster space before, so I understand. I just want to make the most of this new opportunity.”

He’s eager for his shot in Boston, where he’ll compete with Lyle Overbay for the backup first base job behind Mike Napoli.

“I enjoyed my time with Mariners, but I just want to play,” he said. “I’m just thankful for the opportunity. You talk about the Red Sox and their tradition, to get a chance to put my name on the list of guys who’ve played there means a lot. Hopefully I can live up to the expectations I have for myself.”

Carp talked about how much he enjoyed his time in Seattle and his excitement now over playing in Fenway for the Red Sox. I’ve got a lot more on all that in my full story on Mariners.com, which you can read here.

I know some fans are wondering why the Mariners only got a player to be named or cash considerations, but that’s the situation when you designate a player for assignment. That limits a team’s bargaining power and the Mariners obviously tried to trade Carp before they DFA’d him and again afterward, but didn’t have any strong offers.

So they’ll likely wind up with cash compensation, while Carp gets a new opportunity.

1 Comment

Good luck Mr. Carp.

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