Last night was the company holiday party. Since I’m about two hours late to work and 14 hours behind this news, we’re going to make this short and sweet. Here’s the news:
ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter) reports that veteran infielder Jamey Carroll has signed a two-year deal with Los Angeles, pending the results of a physical. According to a follow-up tweet from Olney, the deal is worth just under $4MM with incentives (Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports specified the contract’s value as $3.85MM).
For whatever reason, Carroll’s been rumored to be a Dodger target for nearly two years now. We heard about him again last week, and I stand by what I said at the time:
Look at the other teams involved, though. All have their second base positions totally settled, meaning they’d want Carroll to do what he’s supposed to be doing – being a nice utility glove who can get on base. With the Dodgers, he’s likely the new starting 2B, which is scary indeed.
It’s really all about his role, because the price is certainly right, though I’m not thrilled with the idea of having to guarantee him a second year to a guy who will be 36.
If he’s a utility guy/security net for Blake DeWitt, then I’m fine with that. Carroll is decent-ish at the plate (89 and 90 OPS+ the last two years), adequate with the glove (8.3 career UZR/150 at 2B, -0.8 at 3B), a total black hole in terms of power (12 HR in over 2500 PA), and useful in his versatility (played 2B, 3B, LF, and RF last year, and has played SS before). I’ve already seen suggestions that as a righty bat, he’d be a nice platoon partner for the lefty DeWitt, but that doesn’t really work. Carroll had almost no lefty/righty split last year, and DeWitt is actually better against his fellow southpaws.
So in that sense, as a veteran backup, then great. If he’s your starting 2B for 140 games… then you’re looking at big problems.
Another signing, of which the less that’s said the better: Luis Ayala is signed to a minor-league deal. I’ll never whine too much about a no-risk deal like that, but he’s an ineffective pitcher who appears to be a monumental jackass. I outlined his litany of sins when his name came up last week, so be sure to check it out.
Also: MSTI across the web. I answered some questions for aptly-named Nationals blog “The Nats Blog” about the Dodgers activity, or lack of it, at the winter meetings. This was written before the Pierre or Carroll deals went down, unfortunately.