UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the Twins are the lucky winners of the Jamey Carroll derby and are closing in on a multi-year deal. He’s expected to be their starting shortstop. Terms aren’t disclosed, but I presume it won’t be four years, $50 million. UPDATE: Rosenthal says it looks like two-years, $7 million. Seems pretty damn reasonable, actually.
11:00 AM: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Jamey Carroll is close to signing a multi-year contract. We don’t know who with — Mystery Team!! — but a lot of teams have expressed interest ranging from the Tigers, Rockies, Dodgers, Indians and Braves.
Maybe a multi-year deal is sort of nuts, but in a world where Willie Bloomquist gets one Carroll is certainly entitled. Because, like, he’s better. Indeed, he seems poised to get a starting job someplace, either at short or at second base, even at age 38, having just batted .290 with a .359 OBP. And he’s thought of as a model baseball citizen, great clubhouse presence kind of guy.
So much so that I’m shocked that the Braves haven’t signed him already. Like, last week. He’s the most Braves player to hit the market in five years, I bet. And I’m not complaining. He’d be better than Alex Gonzalez for a year or perhaps two while the Braves’ shortstop prospects mature. This is a team that found a home for Walt Weiss, so they can certainly make room for Carroll.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.