Tim Britton of the Providence Journal is reporting that Mike Carp offered to learn third base to be more versatile for the Red Sox. Carp approached third base coach Brian Butterfield on the first day of workouts, asking to take a few ground balls at the position.
Carp has only played in the outfield and at first base during his five-year Major League career. He played 12 games at third base in the minors, 11 of those occurring in 2004 as an 18-year-old in the Gulf Coast League with the Mets.
Carp’s bat can hold up at third base. The American League average weighted on-base average at the position last season was .317. Carp’s career average is .342, including .382 last season, seeing right-handed pitching a majority of the time.
The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.
A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.
If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.