In an effort to boost their terrible offense the Mariners have called up first baseman/left fielder Mike Carp from Triple-A, where he hit .348 with 19 homers and a 1.069 OPS in 57 games.
That type of production obviously screams out for an opportunity, but it’s worth noting that Carp is also 25 years old and this was his third season at Triple-A.
Last season he hit 29 homers in 110 games there, but it came with a .257 batting average. And the season before that he batted .271 with 15 homers and an .818 OPS in 110 games.
He’s far more likely to be a solid platoon player than anything resembling a star, but it also won’t take much for Carp to be a big upgrade for a lineup that ranks dead last among AL teams in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.