The Indians acquired versatile infielder Jamey Carroll from the Rockies in exchange for a player to be named. On April 24, 2008, the Indians sent minor league righthander Sean Smith to Colorado to complete the trade.
The Big Leaguers
A minor hero in the Rockies march toward the 2007 World Series, Carroll may one day be best remembered as the man who hit the game-winning sacrifice fly that scored a stumbling Matt Holliday from third base in the 13th inning of the wild card play-in game at home against the Padres. A 14th-round pick of the Expos out of Evansville in 1996, Carroll, 34, toiled in the minors until 2002, when he earned a September callup to Montreal. The next season he embarked on a career as a big league utilityman, playing mostly second base but also some third and some shortstop. Aside from his lone postseason appearance with the Rockies, the righthanded-hitting Carroll’s career highlight occurred in 2006, when he racked up 463 at-bats for Colorado, batting .300/.377/.404 with 23 doubles and 56 walks as the club’s more-or-less everyday second baseman. He’s batted .272/.350/.353 in 1,509 big league at-bats.
Smith, 24, is your typical three-pitch minor hurler, acceptable but not exceptional. The recipient of a $1.1 million bonus from the Indians as a draft-and-follow in 2001, Smith touched 94 mph as an amateur at Sacramento CC, but he typically sits 88-91 as a pro. He complements the pitch with an average 12-to-6 curveball and a decent changeup. In seven pro season, Smith has gone 33-24, 3.88 with 543 strikeouts (7.0 per nine), 308 walks (4.0) and 45 home runs (0.6) in 694 innings.
The Rockies may have regretted not having Carroll around when their Opening-Day middle infield was wiped out before May. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki went down with injury, while Jayson Nix simply went down to Triple-A Colorado Springs after not hitting. The Rockies did have a suitable Carroll replacement, though, in Clint Barmes, who is also a native Indianan.