This is like a mini-Fish Bites, as there will be some links. Still, I’ve got some thoughts on this stuff.
– Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com says the Marlins are quite interested in Jamey Carroll. Who is Jamey Carroll? He is a perfectly nondescript singles hitter who spent his last two seasons with the Cleveland Indians, and two years before with the Colorado Rockies. He has no power, but has a career unintentional walk rate of 9.5%. This has mostly been achieved by not swinging the bat, but he does seem to have a pretty decent eye for the strike zone in general, having swung at less than 20% of pitches outside of the zone the last few years.
Carroll has a decent reputation with the glove, and just looking at his career UZR/150 at both second and third base, the numbers seem to back that up. With a bat around .315 in wOBA and a modest +5 glove at second/third, Carroll could easily be worth almost 2 WAR on the season! That would not be a bad pickup.
Of course, this comes with a few concerns. The primary worry is his age; Carroll will be 36 in 2010. He hasn’t lost much of a step, but his game is pretty dependent on his glove and that can falter pretty easily with advanced age. We definitely do not know when Carroll is going to hit the proverbial wall. Also, this quote from the Gonzalez post troubles me:
In a phone interview on Wednesday afternoon, Jamey Carroll’s agent, Jonathan Maurer, said the Marlins have inquired about his versatile client as a utility man, but they would also prefer somebody with a little more experience at shortstop.
What does that mean? Well, as some people have probably pointed out before, it means that the Marlins may be more interested in Carroll as a reserve than they are as a starter, despite the potentially glaring holes at third (and at second, if they’re insistent on not moving Chris Coghlan back into the infield). I do not know exactly what this means, but I fear the worst. This could be a sign that the Marlins staff has confidence in Emilio Bonifacio starting full time again. I don’t like that.
I also think that the mere fact that the Marlins have been linked to a middle infielder/utility guy, albeit not a bad one, means that the Fish may indeed decide not to move Coghlan into the infield. Were they interested in doing that (which would be the right move, of course), the Marlins would probably be linked with an outfielder. Of course, it’s still early, so it’s anyone’s guess. I still hope the team seriously considers this proposition.
– Juan C. Rodriguez gives us his opinion on the 40-man roster. This is interesting because it needs to be set by tomorrow to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, which is next month. Of course, everyone remember the Dan Uggla Rule 5 draft story, but the Marlins have not done a whole lot in the Rule 5 draft since.
As of now, the team currently has 35 players in the 40-man roster. Here’s a list of players JCR thinks are in line for potential protection (by placement in the 40-man roster).
Here’s a look at who the Marlins could lose unless added to the 40-man: catcher Brad Davis, pitchers Jeff Gogal, Chris Mobley, Kyle Winters, Kris Harvey, Brett Sinkbeil, Graham Taylor, Brad Stone and Jay Buente, and outfielders Scott Cousins and John Raynor.
As JCR says, John Raynor and Scott Cousins are sure to be protected, if anything because it will also allow the team some depth in the outfield in case of injury. 2006 first-round draft pick Brett Sinkbeil may also be protected, though his struggles have been well-documented. Kyle Winters may also be in line for protection. That would leave one spot, though I would not be surprised if the Marlins do away with Hayden Penn somehow. If the Marlins are interested in acquiring some other team’s scraps, they’ll need to keep a slot open to acquire someone. In a few days, we’ll see who will be made available.
– Finally, I wanted to point you to Joe Frisaro’s latest mailbag piece. Frisaro still doesn’t think both Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla will be dealt. The key, of course, is that both should be dealt. There’s no way Cantu is worth the money we’d be paying him (with our desired WAR rate), and Uggla is apparently going to cost too much as well. If the team is interested in infielders like Carroll, it should not be interested in resigning a Jorge Cantu at the $5M cost range.