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February 25, 2013

Transaction Analysis

Boston Rolls the Dice on Carp's Table

by R.J. Anderson

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IN THIS ISSUE

American League
National League

BOSTON RED SOX
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Acquired 1B/OF-L Mike Carp from the Mariners for a player to be named later or cash. [2/20]

Carp is living off the fumes of a solid 2011 season, in which he was the Mariners' best hitter. A back-handed compliment perhaps, but for whom? Carp's power, his best offensive attribute, is hampered by a poor understanding of the strike zone and an inability to make consistent and consistently good contact. Carp is no athlete and his value is tied to his bat. Another back-handed compliment. Leaving Safeco behind for Fenway Park will help, but Carp has the scent of a professional pinch-hitter. Boston's Lyle Overbay might not be much better (or worse, for that matter), so it looks like we have ourselves a fair fight. Here's a guess: Doug Melvin is rooting for Carp, preferably by referee’s decision.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Acquired 3B-L Conor Gillaspie from the Giants for RHP Jeff Soptic. [2/22]

Designated 1B-L Lars Anderson for assignment. [2/22]

The 37th pick in the 2008 draft, Gillaspie's contract mandated a September call-up, and as a result he became the first player from the class to reach the majors. He's been unable to stick in the majors since. It's easy to focus on the negatives: Gillaspie doesn't have much pop or speed and his glove is just okay at third base. He does have a line-drive swing, a knack for contact, and a good awareness of the strike zone. In a sense, he's like looking at Jeff Keppinger in a mirror. Gillaspie should make the White Sox bench and may earn some time at third base against righties. 

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Acquired RHP Michael Schwimer from the Phillies for 1B-L Art Charles. [2/23]

Trading an up-and-down arm for an organizational player at this juncture seems odd, but Schwimer clashed with the Phillies last season and that's a no-no. Schwimer is a large man, listed at 6-foot-8, and he throws from over the top. The ball must look like it's coming in from the clouds. His fastball sits in the low- to mid-90s and he also throws a slider and splitter. It doesn't look like Schwimer will open the season in the Blue Jays bullpen, but he could sneak in there as the year progresses. 

WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
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Signed RHP Chris Young to a minor-league deal. [2/21]

Will this end Washington's pursuit of Javier Vazquez—should it? The giant right-hander Young is a weird bird. Despite sub-par velocity Young generates more than half of his outs through the air. He makes it work. That's more than he can say about his body most years: Young's 138 innings last season between the majors and minors were the most he's thrown since 2007. The Nationals will call upon Young in case of injury—assuming, of course, he's not the one hurt.

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

Related Content:  Chris Young,  Mike Carp,  Lyle Overbay

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