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Traded a PTBNL to the Colorado Rockies for IF Jamey Carroll

I guess it's a mark of how dull this offseason has been when I have to break out the deep analysis for Jamey Carroll.

Initial reports had the Indians giving up Sean Smith for Carroll, and even earlier ones had the Indians rejecting a Barfield-for-Carroll trade, so if one assumes the usual method of negotiating, we're down to Gregorio Rosario, or his equivalent.

The Indians just needed a utility infielder that can play second base because they already have two shortstops on next year's roster: Jhonny Peralta, the starting shortstop, and Asdrubal Cabrera, the starting second baseman. Because Josh Barfield has an option remaining, they have the option of sending him to AAA to regain his batting prowess.  

Because the Indians are now two-deep at both shortstop and second base without having to roster two utility infielders, they have the space to keep Andy Marte around. In a perfect world, Casey Blake would gradually give ground to Marte as 2008 progresses, thus removing any future need to get a third baseman, and leaving Blake free to play more outfield.

What of Carroll himself? He spent seven years in the Montreal minor-league system before making it the majors as a utility guy. After spending a season with the Washington incarnation of the franchise, he was sold to the Rockies. He had his best season in 2006, hitting .300/.377/.404 as more-or-less their starting second baseman. He turned that good season into a two-year contract, the first multi-year deal of his career. But he lost his starting job to Kaz Matsui this past season, and didn't hit at all. Hence the salary dump to Cleveland.

Carroll can play second, short, and third, but he's most likely to used as a second baseman given the other players on the roster. He'll probably spend more time on the base paths than at the plate, especially if Asdrubal Cabrera picks up where he left off last season.

This move does mean Josh Barfield is likely headed to Buffalo, but doesn't mean anything more sinister than that. Jamey Carroll won't be the reason Barfield leaves the Indians' organization.

Signed RHP Rick Bauer, RHP Jeff Harris, and C Yamid Haad to minor-league contracts and invited them to Spring Training

If we aren't to have any Bauer on TV, at least we'll have some in Spring Training. The baseball Bauer was last seen pitching with Rangers in 2006. He threw 71 innings, but struck out only 35, not a good ratio for any reliever. He pitched with Ottawa and Las Vegas last season, not showing too much promise.

Harris returns to the organization after starting 22 times for the Bisons in 2006. He's minor-league depth only.

Haad, a native of Colombia, also played with Buffalo last year. He'll probably back up Wyatt Toregas.