Everyone is waiting for the Toronto Blue Jays to make that big move that will excite the masses. Unfortunately, this next rumor isn’t necessarily going to get it done for you.
According to Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, the Blue Jays are among a handful of teams that are considering adding veteran utility-man Jamey Carroll. Also among that group are the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays, and Boston Red Sox.
The 39-year-old Carroll would be an interesting signing, in that he brings with him a bit of Canadian flavor with him. The infielder is one of just a few remaining players that once suited up for the Montreal Expos. He would also be another in a long line of aging veterans that Alex Anthopoulos has added to his infield for the sake of veteran presence and positional versatility, joining Mark DeRosa and Omar Vizquel as recent examples.
A 12-year veteran, Carroll has seen time with Montreal/Washington, Colorado, Cleveland, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota, and Kansas City. Defensively, he would bring with him the ability to play second, third, and shortstop.
Offensively, Jamey Carroll has never been known to provide much with thump with the bat, but commands a respectable .272/.349/.687 slash line. More importantly, and Nicholson-Smith notes, Carroll controls the strike zone very well, swinging and missing less that 4% of the time and has a lifetime strike-out rate of 13.8% according to FanGraphs.
That all said, Father Time appeared to catch up with Carroll in a big way in 2013. In 249 plate appearances between the Twins and Royals, Carroll authored a slash line of .211/.267/.251, easily the lowest of his career. However, he did have one claim to fame last season, making his first career pitching appearance, tossing a hitless inning of relief against the Royals on August 5th.
For the Blue Jays, he could provide adequate back-up around the diamond, much in the way that Emilio Bonifacio was intended to a year ago. He’s no one’s idea of a starting option at second base, but could also serve as a solid mentor for Ryan Goins, should he be handed the keys to the position.