What was your favorite “Jamey Carroll as a Minnesota Twins’ player” moment? Shortly after the Twins completed a series win in Chicago—in which Carroll went 1-4 with a run scored—the team traded Carroll to another team in the division, the Kansas City Royals. According to multiple media reports, the Twins will receive a player to be named later or cash in return for Carroll to complete the deal.
The deal certainly comes as somewhat of a shock to Twins’ fans, and Carroll himself, as Carroll would have been one of the least likely players that people would have expected to be dealt by the end of the season. In all reality, however, the team should have seen a deal coming as Carroll himself was dropping hints over the past few days by growing what appears to be a “playoff beard” or some sort of “retirement beard” in preparation for the end of the season. If you are unsure what I am referring to, click on this link and see the video of Carroll being interviewed after today’s game and discussing his feelings on being dealt to the Royals. How could we miss something so obvious?
Carroll now has an opportunity to play for a team that is in the hunt for a playoff spot instead of playing sporadically for a team headed nowhere. This is good news for a player like Carroll who has been the ultimate professional this year—despite decreased playing time—and has been invaluable in the development of some of the Twins current middle-infielders such as Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier. According to Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony, this move was made—in part—to thank and reward Carroll for all he has given the team over the past year and a half. Antony stated, “As much as anything, this is a deal for Jamey Carroll to go over and join a team that’s in a playoff race, and add his professionalism and experience to that club.”
Carroll could get a chance to see his playing time increased for the remainder of the season as the Royals are currently searching for a solution at second base. The Twins have been giving Carroll an increased role over the past few games and it is clear that it likely was in connection to teams showing interest in the veteran and the Twins desire to trade him before the season is over. Carroll has done his own part in increasing his trade value over the past few weeks and even threw a perfect inning of relief, on just nine pitches, last week against Kansas City. Although it appears as if the Royals have Carroll penciled in as a middle infielder—likely at second base—maybe they also have plans for him as a middle-reliever down the stretch? Although that is heavily sarcastic, it would be a great story to see the Royals trot out the veteran for an inning of relief sometime towards the end of the year.
While it will be sad to see Carroll go, I wish him the best of luck in Kansas City and hope the team can make it to the playoffs and give Carroll a chance to play in the post-season. Once Carroll retires, I hope the Twins approach him about a coaching job in some capacity as I believe he could be very effective in that role somewhere in the organization. Something tells me that this conversation has already taken place before Carroll left town and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him return to the Twins next season as a coach in the minors. Stay tuned for further developments this off-season.