Jamey Carroll Rumors

Pirates Notes: Carroll, Liz, Alvarez, Arbitration

The Pirates have reportedly agreed to terms with Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang on a four-year deal that is worth about $16MM and contains a fifth-year option, but that’s not the only chatter coming out of Pittsburgh today. Here’s the latest on the Buccos…

  • Former big league infielder Jamey Carroll has joined the Pirates’ front office and will serve as a special assistant to the baseball operations staff, the team announced earlier today. Carroll, 40, last appeared with the Twins and Royals in 2013. A lifetime .272/.349/.338 hitter in parts of 12 big league seasons, he joins former Pirate Kevin Young as an offseason addition to the baseball operations department. “He’s an outstanding person and there’s a lot of good things that Jamey Carroll, much like Kevin Young, is going to add to this organization,” GM Neal Huntington told Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Specifically, Huntington mentioned the “ability to relate to players and mentor players as a guy who was just there, who just did that.” Brink notes that adding recent big leaguers to the baseball ops department was a goal for the Pirates this winter.
  • Also from that piece, Brink spoke with Huntington and right-hander Radhames Liz about the righty’s contract with the Bucs, and the reason for the delay in finalizing the deal. Reports at the time of the announcement — which came nearly a month after word of the agreement broke — indicated that there were issues with Liz’s physical. However, both Liz and Huntington denied those claims.
  • Both Young and Carroll spoke with Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about their new roles with the team (video link). Young says he specifically looks forward to working with Pedro Alvarez in the transition from third base to first base — a move that he himself made during his playing days. Carroll notes that he’ll be working a great deal with the club’s infielders but is open to helping in various capacities and learning about other elements of baseball operations.
  • The Pirates opened their voluntary mini-camp today, and Alvarez was not in attendance. While many fans seem to be upset about the notion of Alvarez passing up a chance to work out with the team and improve on his transition to first base, Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle don’t seem too bothered by the decision. Hurdle told MLB.com’s Tom Singer (Twitter link), “I don’t read things into people being there or not. It’s voluntary.” Meanwhile, Huntington told Brink: “Pedro had the complete option to come in and not come in and we expect him to be ready to go the first day of spring training and get after it with Nick [Leyva] but also with Kevin [Young].” Names such as Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Francisco Liriano, Josh Harrison and Gregory Polanco (among others) were also absent from the workouts.
  • One last note from Brink, who tweets that the Pirates will again employ a “file and trial” approach to arbitration this winter. In other words, the team will not negotiate arb deals beyond the date on which figures are exchanged — that being this coming Friday. Any unresolved cases at the time of the exchange deadline will be settled in a hearing. Pittsburgh has 12 players eligible for arbitration, so it should be a busy week for them as they look to avoid arb hearings with that group. For those interested, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes took a longer look at “file and trial” clubs in the 2013 offseason.

Quick Hits: Sanit, Abreu, Carroll

When the Rangers face the Quintana Roo Tigers of the Mexican League in Texas Thursday night, former Yankees hurler Amauri Sanit will be the opposing pitcher. As Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News notes, the 34-year-old left Cuba in 2006, then spent two years in Central America before signing with the Yankees. He signed with the Yankees in 2008, then spent several years making his way through the minors, partially as a closer, before pitching in four games with the Yankees in 2011. He ended up with Quintana Roo in 2012, and after two seasons there, he'll be back in the United States, pitching against a big-league team. Here are more notes from throughout the big leagues.

  • The Phillies have announced that veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu will not make their team out of spring training. GM Ruben Amaro says that Abreu is still with the Phillies organization and is "weighing his options," MLB.com's Todd Zolecki tweets. Abreu, 40, hit .263/.429/.395 this spring, but he struggled defensively, and he hasn't appeared in the big leagues since 2012 with the Angels and Dodgers.
  • Infielder Jamey Carroll was released by the Nationals yesterday, but the veteran infielder would like to keep playing, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. Carroll, 40, hit .211/.267/.251 in 249 plate appearances with the Twins and Royals last season.

Nationals Release Jamey Carroll, Chris Young

The Nationals have released veteran infielder Jamey Carroll, Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com tweets. They have also released pitcher Chris Young, tweets MASNsports.com's Dan Kolko.

Carroll, 40, collected 249 plate apppearances with the Twins and Royals last season, hitting a meager .211/.267/.251. He signed a minor-league deal with the Nationals in January. Young, 34, last appeared in the big leagues in 2012 with the Mets. He pitched sparingly in the Nats' system in an injury-plagued 2013 season.

NL East Notes: Rollins, Syndergaard, Braves, Carroll

A fair amount of ink has already been dedicated to the friction between Jimmy Rollins and new manager Ryne Sandberg this spring, and ESPN's Buster Olney now reports that there's a strong sentiment within the Phillies organization that the team would be better off trading its longtime shortstop as soon as possible (Twitter link). However, as Olney notes, Rollins has 10-and-5 rights (10 years of Major League service and five consecutive with the same team), meaning he has the right to void any trade. Rollins told CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury as recently as yesterday that he has no plans to waive his 10-and-5 rights anytime in the near future: "If we’re in absolutely last place with nowhere to go and change is obviously on the horizon, then at that point I’d think about it. But anything short of a complete disaster, I’m wearing red and white pinstripes." Rollins has already said as much this spring, indicating that he'd like to become the Phillies' all-time hits leader and set some other records with the club (he's currently 60 hits shy).

More Rollins- and NL-East-related items for your Tuesday morning…

  • Andy Martino of the New York Daily News spoke with team sources from the Mets and Yankees regarding potential interest in Rollins (both could use some infield help). He was told that the Yankees think it would be too awkward to bring in a name that big in Derek Jeter's final season, and the Mets source simply replied, "Don't see it."
  • Also from Martino's piece, Mets top prospect Noah Syndergaard was reassigned to the minor leagues today, and while he's likely to make his Major League debut in 2014, he probably won't pitch a full season until 2016. Martino reports that Syndergaard is capped around 150 innings this season, and because the team tries to limit starting pitcher increases to 30 innings per season, he'll likely be capped around 180 in 2015.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren told reporters, including MLB.com's Mark Bowman, that the team plans to revisit the rehab process of Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy in an attempt to figure out why each player appears headed for a second Tommy John surgery. Said Wren: "I think we're always evaluating and looking at how we do things and why we do them and do we need to make changes? … I don't think we'll ever stop researching and analyzing. But I can't tell you today that we feel there is a common link [between Medlen and Beachy] other than that they're wearing the same uniform."
  • Jamey Carroll's focus is currently on making the Nationals roster, but he tells Pete Kerzel of MASNsports.com that he's intrigued with the possibility of becoming a manager somewhere down the line. Carroll has been suggested as a future manager by many of his former coaches and teammates. He calls the fact that young players have been seeking him out for advice in camp with the Nats "humbling," though he hints that when his playing career is done, he may first take some time with his family before getting back into the game.

Ohio Notes: Reds, Indians, Carroll, Axford

Here's the latest from both teams in the Buckeye State…

  • The Reds are lacking in shortstop depth behind Zack Cozart and MLB.com's Mark Sheldon wonders if the club will address this issue before Spring Training.  The pickings are slim on the utility backup shortstop market, and they became even slimmer when Jamey Carroll recently signed with Washington.  The Reds weren't in on Carroll, Sheldon reports.  (The Indians, however, were one of Carroll's suitors.)
  • It's been a quiet offseason for the Reds, and ESPN's Dave Cameron (Insider subscription required) argues that the team has done little to keep pace in the NL Central.  Cameron suggests three moves involving Homer Bailey, the rotation and the backup outfield spot that would help upgrade the Reds' roster for 2014 and beyond.
  • After he was traded to the Cardinals last summer, John Axford was surprised to learn from St. Louis coaches that he was tipping his pitches, the reliever told John Lott of the National Post.  Axford discusses the adjustments that led to turning his season around as a Cardinal, and his subsequent signing with the Indians.
  • The Indians may have a few million dollars in remaining payroll to spend, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.  The front office plans to wait until right before Spring Training and then use these potential funds if a player they like is still on the market.
  • Also from Pluto, David Cooper also received a Major League contract offer from the Rays before the first baseman chose to re-sign with the Indians in December.
  • Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer covers a number of Indians-related topics in a reader mailbag, including whether or not there's a spot for Michael Young on the Tribe's roster.
  • Roto Authority, MLBTR's fantasy baseball-focused sister site, has relaunched for 2014 with all-new content.  One of the many articles from RA's opening week was Alex Steers McCrum's piece about how the Tribe's plan to give Yan Gomes the bulk of playing time behind the plate makes Gomes a strong fantasy catching option.

Nationals To Sign Jamey Carroll

The Nationals have agreed to terms with Jamey Carroll according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish (Twitter link). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that it's a minor league contract (also via Twitter) Carroll is represented by Millennium Sports.

Carroll, 40 next month, batted just .211/.267/.251 for the Twins and Royals last season but collected his 1,000th Major League hit along the way. He's just one year removed from a .268/.343/.317 batting line with solid defense at three infield positions for the 2012 Twins. Carroll can help to fill the utility infield role that was formerly filled by Steve Lombardozzi. The Nationals included Lombardozzi in the trade that netted them Doug Fister from the Tigers.

This will be Carroll's second stint in a Nationals jersey. The Indiana native was drafted by the Expos in the 14th round of the 1996 draft and made his big league debut with the Expos in 2002. Carroll was still with the organization when it jumped to Washington, appearing in 113 games for the Nationals in their inaugural season. Carroll has never had power — he has just 13 career homers — but he has a solid defensive reputation at three positions and a patient approach at the plate. He has a 9.7 percent career walk rate and is a career .272/.349/.338 hitter in 4,225 plate appearances.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported that Carroll was nearing a deal with an unknown team (on Twitter), and Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reported that the Nationals and Indians were in the mix (Twitter link).

Jamey Carroll Close To Signing; Nats, Indians In The Mix

11:50am: Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports that the market for Carroll is indeed heating up, and the Nationals and Indians are in the mix (Twitter link).

11:17am: Veteran utility infielder Jamey Carroll is finalizing a deal with an unspecified team and expects to complete the deal today or tomorrow, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). The soon-to-be 40-year-old is represented by Millennium Sports Management.

Carroll struggled in 2013 and was unable to replicate the solid numbers he posted for the Twins in his age-38 season. After slashing .268/.343/.317 in 537 plate appearances and playing solid defense at shortstop, second and third for Minnesota in 2012, he hit just .211/.267/.251 in 249 PAs between Minnesota and Kansas City this season. He did reach a career milestone by collecting his 1,000th base hit.

Quick Hits: Coleman, Rockies, Red Sox

Broadcaster Jerry Coleman has died, the Padres have announced (on Twitter). He was 89. Coleman suffered a fall in early December and had been in and out of the hospital since then, Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. As a player, Coleman debuted with the Yankees in 1949 and played for them until the end of his career in 1957. He also served in World War II and the Korean War. Coleman began his broadcasting career in 1960, calling games for the Yankees and Angels before settling in with the Padres beginning in 1972. He managed the Padres for one year, in 1980, but was better known as a broadcaster, winning the Ford C. Frick award in 2005. Here are more notes from around baseball.

  • The Rockies are not interested in free-agent infielder Jamey Carroll, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (on Sulia). Now that they've traded Jonathan Herrera, the Rockies intend to have Josh Rutledge and Charlie Culberson compete for their utility infielder job.
  • The Red Sox have a number of starting pitching prospects on the verge of being able to contribute in the big leagues, and they'll need to have a plan to find Major League roles for them, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes. That could be tricky because of their sheer number (they include Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Anthony Ranaudo, Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes, Drake Britton and Henry Owens) and because young starters often have "hiccups," as GM Ben Cherington describes it. Nonetheless, the Red Sox do not currently seem to have plans to trade anyone currently in their rotation. Instead, they want to preserve their depth in case there are injuries.
  • A variety of current and former big-league front-office types with Western Pennsylvania roots meet every December in Pittsburgh, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Attendees have included Pirates president Frank Coonelly, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, Marlins assistant GM Mike Berger, Indians senior director of scouting operations John Mirabelli, Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava, former Pirates GM Dave Littlefield, Royals special assistant Tim Conroy and Pirates national scouting supervisor Jack Bowen. "It's open to anyone in the area with even a loose affiliation to major league baseball," says Berger. "It's neat to see the different guys who roll in, from part-time scouts to team officials, young guys just getting their start, interns. You'd be surprised how many of us call Pittsburgh home."

Quick Hits: Ervin, Volstad, Huff, Carroll, Penny

The Reds are impressed with outfielder and 2013 first-round pick Phillip Ervin, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. "We were really impressed," says Reds director of player development Jeff Graupe. "Obviously, all the physical ability he has is the first thing you see. But over time, seeing the consistent quality of his at-bats was the most impressive thing for me." Ervin, 21, hit .331/.425/.564 in 2013 season split between rookie ball and Class A. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • When the Angels signed pitcher Chris Volstad to a minor-league deal in November, they knew it was possible he might decide to play overseas instead, MLBTR's Zach Links tweets. Volstad recently signed on with the Doosan Bears in Korea.
  • Aubrey Huff has officially retired and accepted a job as a broadcaster with the Pac-12 Network, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reports. Huff finishes his 13-year career with a .278/.342/.464 line in 6,786 plate appearances with the Rays, Astros, Orioles, Tigers and Giants.
  • Free-agent infielder Jamey Carroll could soon make a decision on a new team, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweets. Carroll, who will be 40 next month, hit .211/.267/.251 in 249 plate appearances with the Twins and Royals last season. He would likely receive a minor-league deal.
  • Brad Penny could make an "interesting no-risk signing," Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweets. Renck mentions that he has heard Penny has pitched well in offseason workouts. Penny, 35, last appeared in the big leagues in 2012 with the Giants, and he's now in the midst of a comeback attempt.

AL East Links: Floyd, Ackley, Ortiz, Rays

Despite pitching just 28 1/3 innings in 2013, Gavin Floyd inked a one-year deal with the Braves yesterday that is worth $4MM and could reach $8.5MM via incentives. That's a fine payday for a mid-rotation arm coming off Tommy John surgery, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that Floyd could have been paid even more handsomely. According to Connolly, the Orioles offered Floyd a two-year deal that could have reached $20MM after incentives, but Floyd turned them down. Here's more out of the AL East…