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Red Sox Notes: John Farrell on Mike Carp, competition, Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox [1] told first baseman Lyle Overbay [2] at the time that they signed him that they would continue to look for potential role players capable of handling first base and left field, and on Wednesday, the team proved true to its word. The team acquired Mike Carp from the Mariners [3] in exchange for a player to be named, and given that Carp a) is already on the 40-man roster and b) is experienced at both first base and in left field (as opposed, for instance, to Overbay, who hasn’t played left since his amateur days, and Daniel Nava, who likewise hasn’t played first since college), he would appear the odd’s on favorite for a roster spot.

Still, Carp will have to prove that he deserves that role. And so, manager John Farrell [4] did not suggest that Carp is a given for the roster, but instead that he “increases the competition, particularly at first and left field.” The Sox manager said that he’s discussed the impact of Carp’s acquisition with those who will be directly affected by a deeper competitive pool, including Overbay, who is taking fly balls in the outfield in hopes of increasing his value as a versatile backup on the bench.

“As the signing process unfolded, [GM Ben Cherington] was very explicit to both Lyle and his agent that in recruiting him here, we said that we weren’€™t going to stop looking at potential additions. He was understanding of that. It didn’€™t deter his thought of signing here obviously,” said Farrell. “When you look at a player that’€™s got a number of years in the big leagues, you want to treat him with respect. You want to make him aware of the situation and aware of where he stands in camp here and what the landscape of the competition is. I think the most important thing is with Carp’€™s addition, the competition still exists.

Farrell described Carp as someone with “a very good approach at the plate” who hasn’t been overly vulnerable to a single pitch. While the left-handed Carp has better numbers against lefties than righties in the big leagues, Farrell said that the Sox would see whether that was random or explicable through something in his approach once he arrived in camp. Carp is expected to be in Fort Myers on Thursday.

Clay Buchholz [5] used all his pitches in a 30-pitch bullpen session. In the aftermath of his mild hamstring strain last week, there appear to be no concerns about either the amount of work he’ll be able to do this spring nor about his availability for the start of the regular season.

— Left-hander Felix Doubront [6], Farrell said, came out of a 25-pitch bullpen session (his first of the spring after some shoulder discomfort early in camp) without incident. He will have another bullpen session on Friday.

— After spending the start of his professional career as a self-represented player, Daniel Nava got an agent this offseason. He will be represented by Joe Sambito at SFX. Having an agent representative proved particularly helpful given Nava’s introduction to first base this spring. Rather than having to scramble to purchase his own glove, Nava’s equipment needs were taken care of.

Nava continues to work out at first base, spending a considerable amount of time at the position on Wednesday with third base coach/infield instructor Brian Butterfield.