Mike Carp has apparently requested that the Red Sox trade him, citing a desire to join a contender according to Pete Abraham:
Mike Carp, a valuable bench player for the #RedSox last season, has requested a trade. Spoke to the team after the break.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 26, 2014
Now this is one strange turn of events.
Mike Carp was a big help to the Red Sox last year, coming through in a number of big spots off the bench. All told, he hit .296/.362/.523 for the World Series champion Red Sox. Still, with the team re-signing Mike Napoli over the offseason, Carp was left without a clear role on the team, leading many to believe he would be traded.
Whether because the offers weren't there, or because the Red Sox really did put an emphasis on his power, no such trade ever materialized. That left Carp riding the bench to start the year and, with his bat not producing at the same level it did last season, the Red Sox just didn't have many spots for him to contribute. Add in an injury, and it's been something of a lost year for Mike Carp.
Taken as a whole, this makes for an odd trade request. Mike Carp is just not that hot of a commodity at the moment. It's not like with Jonny Gomes, who at the least fills a very clear role as a lefty-masher off the bench. Mike Carp is just the backup first baseman with some offensive upside that most contenders simply don't need.
On the other hand, Mike Carp does't really do much for the Red Sox right now, particularly with Mike Napoli still signed on for 2015. He spent much of the last offseason as the one cog that just didn't fit in Boston's roster machinations, forcing some strange compromises when it came to defensive depth. If they can find a home for him, all the better. It's just strange that he's the one pushing the issue all things considered.