Mike Carp, the 23-year-old first baseman obtained in the J.J. Putz trade late in 2008, was optioned to the Tacoma Rainiers today.
It was a move Carp and the Mariners knew would come, given the signing of Casey Kotchman and Ryan Garko, both of whom moved ahead of Carp on the team depth chart.
The question now is, does Carp have a future with the Mariners?
Carp has played 645 minor league games, and 21 more in the big-leagues, where he battred .315 with three doubles, a triple and a home run in 54 at-bats last September.
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That got him to spring training, but he came in as a man without a chance. Carp arrived to find Kotchman, Garko, Tommy Everidge, Brad Nelson and Jack Hannahan in the first base mix.
Hannahan will start the season on the disabled list, Everidge and Nelson had been sent to the minor league camp earlier and Carp still only played sparingly at first base - usually late in games.
A contact hitter with a .275 lifetime average in the minors, Carp is viewed as gap hitter and average defensive player. This will be the seventh consecutive season he's started in the minor leagues.