Terry Ryan's first order of business as interim general manager: Jamey Carroll at shortstop for Minnesota in 2012. Seriously?
Pending a physical, the Twins are signing the free agent infielder to fill the ever-present void up the middle to the generous tune of $7 million over two seasons.
One man should be able to do the job that Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Trevor Plouffe, and Alexi Casilla could not accomplish if they all stood at the shortstop position at the same time flailing their arms. I'm not sure Carroll will be that man, but he has to be somewhat of an improvement... or maybe the soon-to-be 38-year-old will be the everyday second baseman, and the yahoos priorly mentioned will continue to be a three-headed fiasco with no clue how to play defense. Upgrade or no, I'm not super impressed.
At the plate, Carroll could create run-scoring opportunities at the top of the order. He batted .290 over two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but (like most Twins) wasn't much help with runners on. He does not hit home runs at all, compiling just a dozen over his decade-long career, and managed to drive in only 17 runs in 146 games last season.
Enough stats though, the apparent cost of this contract is mildly bothering me. The Dodgers signed the utility player for an average amount of $3.85 million for two seasons in 2009, yet somehow his value has nearly doubled after showing scrappy Nick Punto-like ability with some hustle here and some hard-playing there. Plus he's a nice guy, so there's that. Carroll earned the Roy Campanella Award in 2011 for being the player "who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame Brooklyn Dodger catcher."
But I'm a glass half-full type of person, so I guess.. welcome to the team, Jamey Carroll. Don't hurt yourself out there.