Carroll spent two seasons in Colorado, in 2006 and 2007, and hit the game-winning sacrifice fly in game 163 against the San Diego Padres to win the wild card for the Rockies in 2007. Renck identified the going rate for a utility-type middle infielder as two years, $8 million — the contract extension signed by Omar Infante with the Florida Marlins last season — but also notes that the price might be too high for Colorado. But will Carroll get $8 million on the open market? Let's compare Carroll and Infante in their two years before signing a deal:
- Carroll (2010-2011): 279 games, 924 PA, .290/.368/.344, 99 OPS+, 4.6 rWAR, 4.7 fWAR
- Infante (2009-2010): 204 games, 735 PA, .316/.359/.408, 107 OPS+, 4.3 rWAR, 3.8 fWAR
Carroll definitely compares favorably to Infante, but it's important to note that Infante signed for his age 30-31 seasons, while Carroll turns 38 in February. Still, it seems clear Carroll will get a raise from his two-year, $3.85 million contract he signed two years ago.
The next question: will the Dodgers be the ones to give Carroll that raise?
It is still unclear what the Dodgers will do on the free agent market. While first basemen Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder would be nice, those two seem out of the Dodgers' price range. If the Dodgers do spend money on a bat, I would guess they do so on a third baseman (Aramis Ramirez, for instance) or second baseman (like Kelly Johnson, even though he is a Type A), with Juan Uribe shifting to the open position on the infield. But those are just guesses right now.
The only thing I do know is that if the Dodgers bring back Carroll, he won't come cheap.