We knew there would be no multi-year contract for first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp, but the Red Sox did manage to avoid heading to arbitration with the righty-mashing slugger. Carp and the Sox agreed to a one-year, $1.4 million deal prior to Friday's salary filing deadline, ending any chance of the two sides worrying about arbitration in 2014.
This does not mean Carp will be playing for the Red Sox this season, though. On Thursday, it was reported that he could still be dealt prior to Opening Day, with the idea being that first basemen are so hard to come by, especially ones with pop, that Carp could bring in a larger than expected return to the right (read: desperate) team. Someone like the Brewers, who signed Mark Reynolds to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, fits that bill perfectly: if you're in a position to rely on Mark Reynolds as your top option in 2014, you're in a position to see if you can do better.
Carp could also just stick on the Red Sox, of course, especially at the low, low price of $1.4 million, even if it's nearly triple what he made last year. The fact he crushed right-handed batters to an extreme degree -- and his 118 career OPS+ -- are reasons to keep him around. It all depends on whether the Sox think they'll get more out of having him in Boston or elsewhere, and that's a question we are unlikely to know an answer to until we're a ways into spring training and the other clubs can gauge their needs.
The Red Sox also managed to avoid arbitration with infielder Jonathan Herrera, agreeing to a $1.3 million deal. Herrera is the likely bench infielder on the big-league roster, unless the Red Sox end up re-signing Stephen Drew to fill that role. Herrera is in his second year of arbitration, and was acquired earlier this off-season from the Rockies in exchange for Franklin Morales and minor-league reliever Chris Martin. He's a defense-first infielder, but that glove is special enough to merit a roster spot, especially considering the offensive production expected out of regular infielders Will Middlebrooks, Dustin Pedroia, and rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts.