Could The Mariners Be A Playoff Team With Mike Carp At First?


First of all, this is really in response to what Jon Shields said on twitter. I’m a responsive writter in generally and really a majority of what I write is usually written with something or someone in mind. That said it’s usually from what some 5-year old wrote on a some site and I’m like “really”, well you’re stupid and I’ve got a blog that 43 people (and Keith’s mom) read, I have my own opinion and I can post it. Not to mention some idiot (somewhere) will most likely will agree with me. SO, HA! IN YOUR FACE!

Okay, anyways moving on…  for those of you who don’t have twitter here is the deal.

So this started the ‘ol wheels a turning. But before I get going I just wanted to give a bit of a disclaimer. This is not in any way saying that I condone the trading of Justin Smoak. I like Smoak. I like Smoak a lot. There is no reason in my mind to trade for an “upgrade” through a trade or replace Smoak with Carp short of an injury.

But, let’s just say the Mariners, for whatever reason you want to make up, don’t start Smoak at first base this season or next. He wanted to join the military, he wanted to become a pirate, whatever… he just wasn’t the first basemen for the Mariners.

They in turn replaced him with Mike Carp… begin the research. So the question remains: would the Mariners be a viable playoff team with him at first base?

This is technically an impossible question to answer. Of course as a generic statement you could say the Mariners could possibly win a World Series with Mike Carp at first base. But in that scenario they could also be fielding Justin Upton in right, Jacoby Ellsbury in center and Josh Hamilton in left.

So there isn’t necessarily a way to determine the answer to the question and considering how many holes and question marks this current Mariners roster has it really is impossible to say.

But one thing we could do is put Mike Carp on one of the playoff teams and see whether or not he would be a plus or minus for that team. First National League:

*I included every individual who played first base for that team with a minimum of 170 PAs

**just because it helped my argument I included the Braves who self destructed and allowed the Cardinals to win the wild card on the last day.

I believe it’s fair to state, and I think that any smart baseball fan can read those and agree, that Carp would be either a fair trade off or a better value for every team that doesn’t have Pujols or Fielder. What does this mean? Well, it means nothing really, just that those teams didn’t get much in the way of production from first base.

Now, let’s look at the American League:

This is a much more obvious separation. These first basemen are not just the top of the league they are the top of all of Baseball, the one exception being Casey Kotchman. But, sadly even with Kotchman’s season long performance he still represents a possibly better option than Carp. Though I think it’s fair to say that they are close.

So out of 10 teams that all either made the playoffs or fell short by a game, there are 4 teams in which Mike Carp represents a possible side grade or upgrade to current options.

This only furthers to facilitate my post yesterday. There is no need to over pay for Joey Votto and there is no need to pay Prince Fielder $25+ million a year. Are they superior hitters? Absolutely! I wouldn’t even start that argument. But, in terms of surplus production over cost both Smoak and Carp are better options right now.

I get the whole big bat argument and how that “experiment” has “seemingly” failed. But it’s easy to point to the line-up and say they all sucked because there was no “great” hitter. But if that was the case why was Ackley so good as a rookie? Why did Ichiro excel for all those years that he had limited help?

I’m all for upgrades at catcher and third base, but let’s just leave the first base rumor mongering to teams who need it, aka the Cubs.