Law: Carpenter has 'tremendous arm'

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
1:21
PM ET
ESPN.com Insider Keith Law checks in with his take on the Chris Carpenter trade:

Carpenter -- this one, at least -- has a tremendous arm, working 96-100 mph in one-inning stints and still sitting mid-90s when he's stretched out to two innings. He'll show solid to above-average offspeed weapons, including a hard mid-80s slider, although his changeup can come out more like an average fastball that's just doing hitters a favor. He's already 26, and has a long history of injuries dating back to his freshman year at Kent State; he has never shown he could hold up under a starter's workload, while his command is consistently below-average, ruling out any kind of return to the rotation. In relief, however, he should miss plenty of bats, but whether he's a 9th inning guy or just a middle reliever depends on whether he can throw quality strikes. He's good inventory, but not an elite prospect.

For the Cubs, this is probably a relief, no pun intended (OK, pun intended). They gave up a prospect outside of their top 10 in exchange for an executive who, with the front office team he's brought in, should add more wins to the Cubs over the next five years than Carpenter will likely produce in his whole career. The Red Sox can stash Carpenter in Class AAA and bring him up whenever they need a relief arm in the big leagues, with the hope that eventually he improves his command, or at least his control, enough to be trusted with high-leverage work.

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