Dodgers decide not to trade 37-year-old impending free agent Jamey Carroll

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Jamey Carroll is a 37-year-old impending free agent who won’t qualify for draft pick compensation and the Dodgers are 65-70, so it seemed like a no-brainer for them to trade him prior to last night’s deadline.

And they tried, according to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times, but ultimately failed to come to an agreement with the Braves or any other interested teams. Carroll sounded disappointed, noting that “everybody” wants to play meaningful games in October while also saying all the right things about playing out the string with the Dodgers.

Dilbeck reports that the Dodgers were willing to eat the remaining $500,000 or so of Carroll’s salary just to get “a reasonable lower-level prospect in return,” so it sounds like there just wasn’t much of a market for the utility man despite his defensive versatility and .357 on-base percentage. If that’s true several contenders missed out on a nice low-cost pickup.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
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On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”