Jamey Carroll Might Be Best Option
by, 08-15-2012 at 10:21 PM (889 Views)
Terry Ryan says the Twins arenít going to be able to buy themselves out of this funk theyíre in. Heís absolutely right, especially when it comes to second base, where the Twins OPS ranks 29th in the majors. Because there is almost nothing to buy.
The free agent market for middle infielders is often limited, but this yearís market for second basemen is especially sparse. I count one starter Ė Torontoís Kelly Johnson. Johnson is 31 years old, has a 692 OPS and is slightly below average fielding (according to UZR). And heís the class of this group.
There are several who have found their way into a bench job, including Jeff Baker (DET), Adam Kennedy (LAD), Jeff Keppinger (TB), Maicer Izturis (LAA) and Ryan Theriot (SFG). I find Keppinger the most interesting, slightly above Izturis. With the Rays, the 33-year-old Keppinger has hit awfully well but has been slightly below average defensively. And for his career (over 2300 AB) he has a .336 OBP.
Everyone else has either been designated for assignment or hurt or both or retiring. Itís thin gruel.
With those options, ones thoughts canít help but turn to Jamey Carroll, who only has a 626 OPS but at least is getting on base at a .334 clip. The bigger concern might be that if he reaches 401 at-bats next year, then 2014 becomes a player option, albeit one that only pays him $2M.
Frankly, that looks like a bargain and Carroll looks like a better option than anything Ryan is likely to find on the shelves this winter.