WASHINGTON -- Nationals infielder Jamey Carroll avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $700,000 contract on Thursday. The deal is non-guaranteed.
The team now has five players -- Luis Ayala, Marlon Byrd, Nick Johnson, Brian Schneider and Alfonso Soriano -- who are still eligible for arbitration.
A favorite of manager Frank Robinson, Carroll, 31, is considered the most fundamentally sound player on the Nationals. But Carroll's role could be reduced significantly this coming season because of the acquisitions of Marlon Anderson and Damian Jackson. In 2005, Carroll played in a career-high 113 games and hit .251 with 22 RBIs.
"It's good to get that [arbitration] stuff out of the way, and you start concentrating on what lies ahead. I'm going to get ready for the season." Carroll said. "The money was right where I thought it would be. We were both on the same page. From my side, I'm happy the way it turned out."
The signing comes a month to the day from when Carroll's mother, Patty, passed away in Indiana after a brief illness. Carroll admitted that the Christmas holiday without his mother was tough.
"Now that I'm back in Florida and away from Indiana, it has been a difficult time," Carroll said. "It has been the hardest four weeks that I ever had to go through. It's tougher than any pitch that I've ever seen in my life. It makes me realize what's important and what every day means to you."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.