Here We Come A-Carrolling
[January 5th] -- The Washington Nationals have avoided arbitration by signing infielder Jamey Carroll to a one-year, $700,000 contract. Now, I like Jamey a lot, not for what he gives the team on the field, but rather his steady presence in the clubhouse. But did he really deserve a $100,000 raise, especially when he will likely be behind newcomers Damian Jackson and Marlon Anderson on the depth chart? Probably not. When skipper Frank Robinson needs a pinch runner late in the game, he'll send in Damian Jackson who is fast on the basepaths and adept at stealing bases (132 career stolen bases). If there's a runner on second and one out, Robinson will turn to Marlon Anderson before Jamey Carroll. Anderson popped seven homers in only 265 at bats last year, compared to no home runs in 303 at bats for Carroll. Defensively, Carroll has the second highest career fielding average of the three. Marlon Anderson comes in at .983, Jamey at .981, and Damian Jackson .966.
Carroll has averaged 266 at bats per season during his three year career. With the addition of Anderson and Jackson, he'll be lucky to get 80 or so next year if Jose Vidro is healthy and Cristian Guzman is hitting. I think it's safe to say that the only reason that Carroll is returning in 2006 is because Frank Robinson wants him to return. And I feel the same way that Jim Bowden does; Frank should get what he wants.
I'm glad your returning, Jamey.
Although you don't have Frank Howard type "numbers," you do have a Frank Howard type personality.
And that's the highest compliment I could ever pay you.
Late update: More reports are beginning to surface regarding the tangibles of Carroll's contract. At least two reports indicate that the contract is not guaranteed, an oddity in today's baseball. Perhaps Jamey will remain as a "only if" player .... "only if" Jose Vidro remains injured, ... "only if" new signees Damian Jackson or Marlon Anderson don't come out of spring training alive.
Perhaps Jamey's tenure with the Nationals is a little less certain than I first believed.
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