A mystery team made its first appearance of the offseason this morning, as MLBTR reported that, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, infielder Jamey Carroll was nearing a multiyear deal with an unknown club.
Things got interesting about an hour ago, though, when Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, via Twitter, said that not only were the Jays showing “serious interest” in Carroll, but that they were one of three finalists for his services as of yesterday.
Carroll is definitely a name that appeared out of nowhere, but he could make sense for the Jays.
Closing out the two-year, $3.85 million contract that he signed with the Dodgers, Carroll logged 452 at-bats this past season with Los Angeles, his most since his career-high 463 with the Rockies in 2006. He finished the year with a .290 average, 14 doubles, and a career-high six triples, while going 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts — his first season without ever being caught.
While Carroll won’t give you any power at the plate, he does exude solid discipline. He has posted an on-base percentage of at least .355 in each of his last four seasons, and has eclipsed the .377 mark three times in his career. He’s not a free-swinger by any means — having never struck out more than 66 times in one season — but instead opts to take pitches and draw walks.
Signing the 37-year-old to be the Jays’ everyday second baseman wouldn’t make a lot of sense, but signing him to replace Mike McCoy as a backup/utility infielder certainly would. Carroll can play three infield positions and even the outfield in a pinch, and his bat would be an upgrade from the .198/.291/.269 McCoy put up in 197 at-bats for the Jays this past season.