The Oakland Athletics are expected to activate 2B Mark Ellis on Wednesday, but the team faces a tough decision regarding Ellis’ playing time this season.
With rookie 2B Jemile Weeks playing well, Oakland’s front office will have to address Ellis’ future with the organization. Weeks has added some much needed energy on offense and in the clubhouse since being called up earlier this month, so demoting him back to Triple-A Sacramento seems unlikely.
Ellis, 34, has been a reliable player throughout his 10-years with the club, but his numbers have taken a serious dip this year.
Prior to landing on the disabled-list, Ellis was batting .211/.245/.287 with one home run and 15 RBIs. Compared to his career line of .265/.331/.397, Ellis’ 2011 campaign has been extremely disappointing.
As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Gate suggests in a recent article, the A’s are facing a very big decision.
With Ellis, a popular and unofficial captain in the clubhouse, the A’s know he’ll provide quality defense and good veteran leadership. Weeks, however, represents the team’s future, and he’s already proving it this season.
So, what happens when the A’s finally activate Ellis from the DL? Will he start, or will he share time at second with Weeks? Do the A’s trade him?
It’s hard to imagine a situation where the A’s simply demote Weeks, especially given how well he’s performed on offense. It’s also difficult to imagine the A’s simply placing Ellis on the bench, as he’s a well-respected player within the organization, and has been a class-act all of his career.
A trade involving Ellis could be in the works, however. That’s something I could see happening.
Ellis’ $6 million salary is probably the only obstacle standing in the way of a potential trade, but the A’s would likely chip in for a portion of Ellis’ remaining salary if a trade were to take place.
In a recent post by MLBTradeRumors.com, the A’s veteran second baseman’s name came up in a discussion between the A’s and San Francisco Giants. Rumor has it that Oakland had talks regarding Ellis with their bay area rivals over the weekend.
The A’s are playing better baseball, and Weeks’ hot-start has been a major reason for the team’s recent success, and trading Ellis could be a sign that the organization is ready to embrace the future.
Ellis’ solid defense is highly regarded throughout the league, and when healthy, he boasts decent power for a second baseman. But at 34, Ellis is nearing the end of his big-league career, or at least the end of his career with Oakland.
According the MLBTR, the Giants are only one of six potential suitors for Ellis’ services. The A’s expect to have Ellis back on Wednesday.
What are your thoughts? Should the A’s play Ellis everyday? Do you think Ellis should be traded?