Why Mike Carp’s Trade Request Backfired On Him

Mike CarpA few weeks back, former Boston Red Sox utility player Mike Carp requested a trade from Red Sox Nation. The reason he gave was lack of playing time and wanting to play for a better team. As the trade deadline passed, Carp was not traded, but was designated for assignment soon after. Claimed by the Texas Rangers, his plan backfired in a big way.

Not only did Carp get picked up by the worst team in baseball, but he is not even starting. In addition to being a member of a Texas Rangers club that is 26 games out of the AL west division race with a 45-70 record, he is the backup first baseman to former catcher J.P. Arencibia, who by the way owns a slash line of just .195/.261/.430 in 39 games on the year.
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On the other hand, designated hitter is an option for Carp, but Daniel Robertson, a backup outfielder, is hitting better than Carp this year. In 100 at-bates Robertson owns a slash line of .290/.330/.320 which is a a big upgrade over the .198/.321/.275 slash line Carp is putting up.

To anyone who thinks the outfield is an option for Carp — no. He has played 109 career games in the outfield in Major League Baseball and his fielding percentage is a dismal .960 while his total career defensive WAR (wins above replacement) stands at -2.3. This mark is including his great defense at first base which goes to show how poor of an outfielder Mike Carp truly is! The average Major League outfielder has a fielding percentage of .986; Carp is .026 below that mark.
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Pitching is always an option for Carp, who throws the knuckleball — he just needs to learn how to pitch first. In his sole outing on the mound for Boston, Carp walked five men, giving up one run on one inning of work. Although he did help save the bullpen by tossing that inning, pitching is not in his future.

Carp had a good thing going in Boston, but got greedy and decided to screw things up. The Red Sox were willing to keep him as a bench guy, despite his sub par numbers this year, based off of past success. Although 2013 was a fluke for Carp, Boston was lucky enough to get Carp in his most productive year. He showed great promise in his tenure in Seattle, smacking 18 homeruns while posting a .327 OBP in 173 games, so there is a chance he can get it together and put up productive numbers in 2015.
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Still though, given the choice of being productive in Texas or Massachusetts, the vast majority of players would go with the Bay State every time.

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