Tis the season of Christmas songs and rampant baseball free agent speculation. And this year the two have intersected in the person of Jamey Carroll.
It is my belief that Reds management should put down the spirits-laced egg nog before the tempation to sign Carroll is acted upon. I would liken that signing to waking up on Christmas morning and finding a lump of coal in one's stocking.
Bah Humbug I hear Reds faithful chime in unison! The Reds are cheap! We need more (infield) offense!
And you won't get an argument from me on these points. But this is one instance in which restraint (i.e. being cheap) is the best option.
Why jump on the first Jamey Carroll that comes down the chimney? There is going to be a never-ending supply of Jamey Carrolls. And take a look at his stats. Carroll has a lifetime OPS of .701 as well as a career OPS+ of 83. He will also be 36 next season and looked like a tired 35 coming down the stretch of 2009 (a post-ASB OPS of .678 and a .538 OPS in his last 133 PA).
He looked tired and old and not much different from what the Reds already had available at the end of the 2009 season.
He is not a shortstop so replacing Janish isn't gonna happen. And after a very slow start, Drew Sutton performed well in the last month and a half of the season. Carroll might be better than Adam Rosales, but only incrementally. At this point in the off-season the Reds shouldn't settle for incremental improvements. Those can be made any time. The Reds should be setting their sights much higher. They also have several promising middle infielders at AAA.
There simply is no room nor need for Jamey Carroll.
So, Reds management, for Christmas we don't want to find Jamey Carroll under the tree. Reds fans deserve to hear some bright and shiny new sounds when they wake up on the 25th.
And this Carroll is pretty much the same old song.