Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Fits for Kelley, Carp
By Jason A. Churchill
The Seattle Mariners designated for assignment both right-hander Shawn Kelley and first baseman Mike Carp in recent days, as the club made room on the 40-man roster for lefty Joe Saunders and catcher Kelly Shoppach. The M's have 10 days from the dates of the transactions to trade, release or outright the player to the minors. Each may have some trade value, and Mike Carp is a name that has come up a few times in the front office of the Boston Red Sox, reports Nick Cafardo, via Twitter.
The Red Sox figure to go with a combination at first base, including Mike Napoli. Jarrod Saltalamacchia could also get some time there when not catching and Ryan Lavarnway, a catcher by trade, could eventually be taught the position, though it seems unlikely he'd be thrown to the wolves in 2013 at the big-league level. If the Sox make a move for Carp, either via trade or waiver claim, Lavarnway's chances to make the 25-man roster right out of the gate could take a hit.
Carp, a left-handed hitter, could spell the right-handed hitting Napoli versus right-handed pitching on occasion, and could serve as an emergency outfielder. He's 26 and lacks the ideal power to suggest he could play everyday, but in a platoon role could be of value.
Kelley should have some trade value, too; he just agreed to an affordable one-year deal for $935,000 and is coming off a successful 2012, his first year back from partial Tommy John surgery. He's tough on right-handed batters with a low-90s fastball and above-average slider, striking out nearly 25 percent of the right-handed bats he faced last season, and most evaluators see him as a good, solid sixth or seventh inning type.
Kelley, as inexpensive as he is, could be a fit in a dozen or more spots, as few clubs are so set in middle relief that they wouldn't take a shot at an arm like Kelley.
Neither Kelley nor Carp is any kind of lock to clear waivers, which is required in order for the Mariners to send them to the minors.