Pirates Trade Rumors: Was Neal Huntington Talking About Red Sox Mike Carp?
By Tom Smith
Oct 19, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Mike Carp sprays fans with champagne after defeating the Detroit Tigers in game six of the American League Championship Series playoff baseball game at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Neal Huntington sounds like a man that wants to make a deal. In case you missed the Neal Huntington Show today, the Pittsburgh Pirates GM said that the Bucs have their scouts looking at specific players during Spring Training.
"As always they will have targets and if the right guy becomes available, and the asks change we will see how it plays out."
The key part of Huntington’s trade talk is obviously ‘if the asks change.’ So in a nutshell, the Pirates want to make a deal, but the clubs are asking too much in return.
The question is who might the Bucs GM be talking about? We believe it to be Mike Carp. Although sometimes off a bit in his reporting, Nick Cafardo nailed this one. The Pirates scouts have been looking closely at Mike Carp of the Red Sox.
The 27-year old Carp is a player that would make sense for the Pirates. Low salary at $1.4 million, controllable through 2016 and postseason experience. But the big question is do they really need to make a move for Carp with Andrew Lambo looking rather comfortable at first base in the early going?
Carp has proven power. Lambo has power, but it’s not proven.
Lambo looks just fine at first. Carp hasn’t proven that he could be a full-time first baseman although he has 100 starts at first.
That’s the dilemma and very soon we will learn if the Red Sox are willing to lower their lofty price tag on Carp who hit well last year, but faced lefties just 28 times.
The Sox have very little leverage because Mike Napoli is going to play first and the corner outfield spots where he has made almost as many starts as he has at first are covered for the Sox. But the Sox also have little interest in moving Carp for the same reasons the Pirates are interested in grabbing him.
We have a feeling the Sox, who have quite an array of talented arms in the upper minors, would love to get their paws on one of the Pirates minor league arms such as Nick Kingham or Tyler Glasnow. The Sox are still reportedly looking to make other moves such as a right handed hitting outfielder, shortstop, and/or third baseman to their roster. Some suggest the team may move Ryan Dempster off the roster (retires?) or Jake Peavy who was scheduled to pitch against the Pirates but sliced his hand with a fishin’ knife. So moving those veterans could force the team to promote one or two of their young arms allowing Kingham or Glasnow to fill the void.
But the name Kingham and Glasnow are not worth the gamble to me. Carp isn’t a sure thing in our eyes. Too much, too soon, hell with that deal… just give Andrew Lambo a shot to succeed or fail for the time being. Now if Ben changes his tune, we would listen because we do like Carp more than some of the other names being floated.
The Brewers are also reportedly checking out Carp, but what would they surrender for his services? We say don’t buy, hold Mr. Huntington, but we like that you have your eyes on someone outside of Ike Davis at the moment