Mariners trade Mike Carp to the Red Sox
General manager Jack Zduriencik said up to four teams had been interested in Carp.
Seattle Times staff reporter
PEORIA, ARIZ. — Mike Carp is looking forward to a new opportunity in Boston after the Mariners traded him Wednesday to the Red Sox for a player to be determined or cash.
Carp, 26, was first told of the deal late Tuesday but had to wait the night for it to be signed off on. He'll compete with Centralia native Lyle Overbay for a job as an extra first baseman and left fielder on a Boston club lacking depth at both spots.
"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 said.
The Mariners will get to pick the player to be named from a list of four non-premium prospects from the lower levels of Boston's minor-league system. Since the players are not considered to be highly rated, there's a good chance the cash component of the deal will come into play.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said up to four teams had been interested in Carp at one point.
"In the end, it came down to two of them and we went with the Red Sox," he said.
Zduriencik did not say when the transaction would ultimately be completed. Carp was designated for assignment early last week to clear a roster spot for incoming starting pitcher Joe Saunders.
Despite a strong 2011 season, when he hit .276 with 12 home runs and 18 doubles in just 313 plate appearances — most coming in the second-half — Carp could not sustain the success in 2012. He sprained his shoulder diving for a ball in left field during the season opener in Japan and hit .213 during an injury-plagued, slump-prone year.
The Red Sox were looking to add a first baseman after learning during a physical that free agent Mike Napoli has a degenerative hip condition. Boston signed Napoli in any event, but he won't be able to play first base regularly as once envisioned.
Boston had also been seeking a left-handed bat that could share time in left field with new acquisition Jonny Gomes.
"It's really exciting," Carp said. "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."
• Felix Hernandez threw 33 pitches for about 10 minutes on Wednesday in his first bullpen session of the spring. Hernandez threw mostly fastballs and some changeups during the indoor session, watched by a large contingent of coaches, teammates and media.
"I was waiting for it for a long time," Hernandez said of his first throwing session since inking a 7-year, $175 million deal last week. "Now that I feel good, I'm going to just keep going out there like normal and go with my routine and prepare for the games."
• The Mariners have announced their pitching rotation for the first three games of Cactus League play, leading off with Hector Noesi on Friday against the Padres, followed by Blake Beavan on Saturday and Erasmo Ramirez on Sunday.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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