CLEVELAND -- The Indians' search for Jamey Carroll's replacement at the utility-infielder spot will carry on without Jamey Carroll. Carroll agreed to terms Wednesday night with the Dodgers on a two-year contract worth a reported $3.85 million, plus incentives. Thus ends his two-year tenure with the Tribe.
The Indians had an interest in re-signing the 35-year-old Carroll, but they weren't expected to have the financial resources to keep him. Carroll made $2.5 million in 2009. While Carroll served a utility role for the Indians, he was hoping to land in a place where he could play on a more consistent basis. The Dodgers might afford him the opportunity to be the starter at second base, if youngster Blake DeWitt doesn't pan out. Carroll was acquired by the Tribe two years ago in a trade with the Rockies. He batted .276 with 23 doubles, six triples, three homers and 62 RBIs in 206 games with the Indians and was solid at second base and third base as well as the corner-outfield spots. He was the regular at second base for a six-week span in '08, when Asdrubal Cabrera was injured, and he served as the right-handed-hitting complement to Luis Valbuena at second last year, getting the starts against left-handed pitchers. The Indians are looking for a veteran to fill a similar role in 2010, as Valbuena will probably continue to receive protection from certain left-handers. The team does have middle-infield prospect Jason Donald waiting in the wings, but Donald is expected to begin the '10 season with Triple-A Columbus. Infielders Brian Buscher and Luis Rodriguez, who were signed to Minor League deals with Spring Training invites earlier this month, could compete for a utility job, depending on what other moves the Indians make in free agency. For now, things are status quo with regard to the Tribe's place in the free-agent market. The club probably won't be active until some potential bargains present themselves in the new year.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.