Now that the Mariners have acquired Mike Morse in a three-team trade announced on Wednesday, they have multiple names who can play first base and left field.
Recently acquired Kendrys Morales, who is a switch-hitter, and the switch-hitting Justin Smoak, are first basemen. Morse can play there, too, as well as left field. Seattle also signed corner outfielders Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay, and they also have Casper Wells and Michael Saunders who can fill corner outfield spots.
The Red Sox have a surplus of relievers at the Major League and Triple-A levels, and an abundance of promising prospects. The 26-year-old Carp is a role player. Much like Morse, who did not start to fully realize his potential until his sixth season in the majors in 2010, Carp could be a late bloomer. He did have 12 home runs and 46 RBI and hit .276/.326/.466/.791 in 313 plate appearances for the Mariners in 2011, but injuries interrupted his 2012 campaign when he slipped to .213/.312/.341/.654 with five home runs and 20 RBI in 189 plate appearances.
Over his Major League career, which consists of parts of four seasons and 608 plate appearances, Carp has a. 241 average and a .398 slugging percentage against right-handed pitchers while batting .310 against left-handers (in 42 at-bats) last year and .306 against them in 2011. Those are reverse splits, but Carp did produce impressive power numbers at Triple-A, including 50 home runs between 2010 and 2011.
Boston could also opt for a free agent like the left-handed hitting Casey Kotchman to serve as the backup first baseman to Mike Napoli and have Ryan Kalish or the switch-hitting Daniel Nava platoon with Jonny Gomes in left field.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has mentioned this offseason that he would like to bring in a left-handed hitter who can play first base and the outfield. Since it appears that Pittsburgh is not keen on trading Garrett Jones, Carp seems like an ideal fit, and he would cost less in terms of players the Red Sox would have to surrender.