Nationals Sign Carp to Minor-League Deal

The Washington Nationals have signed 1B/OF Mike Carp to a minor league deal. According to Carp’s agents at O’Connell Sports Management, the deal also includes an invite to Major League Camp:

The 28-year old posted a good 2013 campaign for the Boston Red Sox in a smaller sample size, slashing .296/.362/.523 combined with a .382 wOBA and 139 wRC+ across 243 plate appearances—although aided by a high .385 BABIP. However, Carp never got the chance to start full time.

However, Carp’s career took a different turn when he struggled mightily last season for the Red Sox and Texas Rangers, batting to the tune of a .175/.289/.230 with a .248 wOBA and 50 wRC+ across 149 PA—although this time hurt by a .227 BABIP.

What it amounts to for Carp is that he has seen the vast extremes of his talent across the last two seasons. From a 1.2 fWAR down to a -0.5 fWAR, Carp’s true current talent might actually lie somewhere in the middle.

Also hurting him? Playing time. The 6 year veteran hasn’t had more than 313 PA throughout his entire career, and it’s tough to judge how effective he’s been over such small sample sizes when compared to other players who get far more. While that might not mean Carp will post above replacement level statistics, it means that Nationals’ fans might have a reason to hope.

The former New York Mets 9th rounder has been designated for free agency twice over the last two seasons, but if he were to show improvement and value, this deal could turn into two more team controllable seasons for the Nats. The apparent-depth move, the Nationals might have a left-handed bat that could platoon very well in one of the multiple positions he does play.

That is, should he make the team out of Spring Training. As Bob Nightengale also reports, the deal would expand to a 1 million dollars:

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