Veteran Jamey Carroll to back up Blake DeWitt

The Dodgers agreed to terms with versatile 36-year-old infielder Jamey Carroll on a two-year contract. General Manager Ned Colletti, who made the announcement, said: "We are very pleased to add Jamey. He provides us with defensive versatility and can also be an asset offensively. He also brings the Dodgers great make up and work ethic."

His agent would not confirm the salary, but it is believed to be $3.75 million total. He said Carroll turned down potentially more money from the Oakland A's "to play for what he considers to be two Hall of Famers -- [manager] Joe Torre and [batting coach] Don Mattingly."

"Jamey is excited to be a Dodger," Maurer told Ken Gurnick of "The Dodgers have a professional front office. It's been great dealing with Ned Colletti and Kim Ng and we look at this as a chance to team with Blake DeWitt and take the club to the playoffs again."

  The right-handed hitter will backup young left-handed-hitting second baseman Blake DeWitt, the expected starter. Carroll will spell Casey Blake at third base. He also has limited experience at shortstop, where the club is also without an experienced backup for Rafael Furcal but could go with Chin-lung Hu, whose bat has been tried and found wanting.

The Dodgers bench could be completely overhauled do to free agency as many as six players originally were non-tendered, including Ron Belliard, Brad Ausmus, Juan Castro, Mark Loretta, Doug Mientkiewicz and Jim Thome.

The club is interested in bringing back Ausmus as backup catcher. Mientkiewicz has signed a minor league contract and Castro signed with Philadelphia.

The deal is the second in as many days for the Dodgers, who freed up $8 million in payroll over the next two seasons by sending Juan Pierre to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday for two Minor League pitchers.

Carroll broke into the major league with Montreal at the age of 28 in 2002. He hit .310 as a rookie and has not topped that average over his next seven seasons. He's logged 425 games at second, 214 at third, 89 at shortstop and 16 in the outfield with Montreal, Washington, Colorado and Cleveland.

Carroll his previous two seasons in the American League with the Indians and batted .276 with 53 runs scored in 93 games at second base, third base, left field and right field. The 5'9" Carroll hit .324 (24-for-74) and drove in 24 runs with runners in scoring position during the 2009 campaign. His .324 mark ranked 18th in the AL among players with at least 80 plate appearances.  

The Indiana native has hit .284 in his career against left-handers while batting .348 (32-for-92) as a pinch-hitter. Since getting called up to the big leagues in 2002, his average as a pinch-hitter is the best in baseball over that time (min. 100 plate appearances).  

In eight Major League seasons, Carroll has a career batting average of .273 with 12 homers, 174 RBI, 369 runs scored, 41 stolen bases, and a .351 on-base percentage in 786 games for the Expos, Nationals, Rockies and Indians. His best season came in 2006, when he established career-bests in games (136), average (.300), runs (84), hits (139), doubles (23), triples (5), home runs (5), RBI (36), walks (56) and stolen bases (10) as the primary second baseman for the Rockies.

  Carroll has appeared in the postseason just one time, going 0-for-2 with a walk in three plate appearances during the 2007 LCS and World Series with the Rockies. However, it was Carroll's game-winning sacrifice fly in the 13th inning that scored Matt Holliday in a one-game playoff with San Diego and propelled Colorado to the 2007 postseason.

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