According to Jim Armstrong of The Denver Post (click here for the article), “The Rockies today acquired veteran Mark Ellis from the Oakland A’s, along with cash considerations, for minor-league pitcher Bruce Billings and a player to be named later.” Ellis certainly fills a hole for the Rockies, who have had a seemingly revolving door at 2B recently.
- Jonathan Herrera was hitting .237 with 2 HR, 10 RBI, 19 R and 4 SB in 198 AB
- Eric Young Jr. was hitting .234 with 0 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R and 4 SB in 47 AB
- Jose Lopez (who the team had already cut ties with) hit .208 with 2 HR, 8 RBI, 10 R and 2 SB for the team
If Ian Stewart had been able to realize his potential and fill 3B, Ty Wigginton likely would’ve filled the role, but that too wasn’t to be. In other words, the Rockies clearly had a need and will hope that Ellis can produce. If you were holding on to one of their other options, hoping that they were going to emerge, the chances now appear unlikely.
Ellis was struggling himself in 2011, hitting just .217 with 1 HR, 16 RBI, 21 R and 7 SB in 217 AB. He has shown power previously, though his career high of 19 HR came all the way back in 2007. He also hasn’t stolen more than 14 bases in a year, back in 2008. In other words, even if he was to claim the job full-time for Colorado, he doesn’t offer much upside in power or speed that would make him an ultra-appealing option.
In Oakland, the move has much bigger ramifications beyond picking up Billings (4.47 ERA with 47 K in 50.1 innings, all as a reliever, at Triple-A). It shows that they are 100% committed to Jemile Weeks at 2B, not only for the future, but for 2011. It would appear that he will remain hitting atop the order, with Cliff Pennington second and Coco Crisp third (as they have been using for some time).
Clearly, Crisp is a big winner today. If he does continue hitting third, it gives him a huge boost of value, especially in Oakland. Without a big bopper he should continue to be allowed to run wild on the bases, while also being handed more RBI opportunities.
What are your thoughts of the deal? Who is the big winner? Who is the big loser?