The Boston Red Sox avoided arbitration with three players on Friday: Junichi Tazawa, Jonathan Herrera, and Mike Carp. Of the group, Carp might offer the most intriguing options for the club moving forward.
Carp signed a $1.4 million deal with the club and is under team control through 2017. He put up solid numbers in 2013 (batted .296/.362/.593 ) and some have wondered if he deserves to get a shot an everyday job. That won’t happen with the Red Sox, of course, because they have Mike Napoli back for next season. The opportunity would have to come in the form of a trade, though the closer we get to Spring Training the less likely that becomes.
The Red Sox epitomized the importance of a deep and versatile roster in 2013 on their way to a World Series championship. Their lineup mashed all season, overwhelming opposing pitching staffs. That was due, in part, to the all-star production of guys like David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and the aforementioned Napoli. But it arguably had just as much to do with the contributions of unsung guys like Carp, happy to anonymously grow their beards and come through in big spots for the team.
Even if he is used in more of a platoon role again, Carp should be solid for the Red Sox in 2014.