FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox have acquired first baseman and left fielder Mike Carp from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later or cash.
Ryan Kalish, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, was placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Carp on the 40-man roster.
“It’s definitely a better opportunity for me than staying in Seattle as far as their needs go and my chance to get as many at-bats as possible,” Carp told the Seattle Times. "It’s really exciting. I have a chance to go to a great organization and should really get a chance to play. I’m looking forward to showing them what I can do.”
Carp, 26, hit .213 last season over 59 games. He missed 78 games due to three stints on the disabled list. Carp was out twice with a right shoulder injury and then with a groin strain. He was Seattle's Opening Day left fielder before injuring his shoulder diving for a ball.
Over his final 25 games of the season in the majors, Carp hit .293 (22 of 75) with three doubles, a home run and seven RBI.
In 2011, Carp ranked among American League rookies in batting average (3rd, .276), slugging percentage (2nd, .466) and OPS (2nd, .791) and was named to Baseball America’s All-Rookie Team. He had 17 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs, and 46 RBI in 79 games for the Mariners.
Carp will join a crowded field of candidates for a spot on the Red Sox bench. The team is hopeful of finding a lefthanded hitter who can play first base and left field. Lyle Overbay, Mitch Maier and Mark Hamilton are in camp on minor-league contracts. Daniel Nava, a switch hitter, also is under consideration.
Carp may have to prove he can hit righthanders to earn a spot. For his career, he has actually hit lefties (.300/.341/.462) better than righthanders (.241/.323/.398).
Given the uncertain health of first baseman Mike Napoli, who has a hip condition, the backup first baseman could get significant playing time.
The Sox also need a player who can sub for Jonny Gomes in left field. Gomes is significantly better against lefthanded pitching than he is against righthanders. Carp has been primarily a first baseman in his career, but has played 52 games in left field.
Carp is out of minor league options. According to Red Sox sources, any player sent back to Seattle in the deal would not be a significant prospect.