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Rockies are interested in signing Jamey Carroll; are Dodgers?

November 6, 2011 | 12:11 pm

Jamey-carroll_600

For some, baseball’s offseason is almost as much fun as the regular season. All that speculation, all that second-guessing of signings and trades. All the angst and anticipation set up for the coming season.

Who should come, go or be retained? One decision often leads to the next, of course, and one of the choices the Dodgers are going to have to make is whether they want infielder Jamey Carroll back.

That’s if the choice is left to them.

The Denver Post’s Troy Renck wrote Sunday that the Colorado Rockies have expressed interest in bringing Carroll back as their starting second baseman and he has interest in a return. Carroll previously played two years for the Rockies, enjoying perhaps his finest season in 2006 when batted .300 for Colorado.

Renck, however, thinks the Rockies will balk at what is expected to be the going rate, established when the Marlins renewed the contract of second baseman Omar Infante last September for two years at $8 million.

That would be a serious raise for free-agent Carroll, who turns 38 in February. He is coming off a two-year, $3.85-million deal with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers, of course, also need a starting second baseman. Carroll hit .290 with a .368 on-base percentage and .344 slugging percentage the last two seasons for the Dodgers.

But with the Dodgers, Carroll played the role of the super utility infielder, filling in plenty at shortstop during Rafael Furcal’s frequent visits to the disabled list, while also playing second and some third.

He hustled almost every moment of the game, was a terrific presence in the clubhouse and so versatile he could he even play a little outfield.

There is little doubt the Dodgers would like him back, though probably in a utility role if they can locate a player with more power to play second base (or even third and move Juan Uribe back to second).

But do they want him back at something close to $8 million? Are they convinced Justin Sellers could fill the utility role decently enough at a fraction of the cost?

The Hot Stove League warms up.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers infielder Jamey Carroll upends Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips to prevent a double play during a game last season at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

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