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Mark Ellis may be finished in Oakland after nine seasons

Sep 10, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

Mark Ellis has spent his entire nine-year career in Oakland, making him the longest-tenured A’s player on the active roster, but as Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News writes he may not be back in 2011.
Ellis is finishing up a two-year, $11 million contract and the A’s have a $6 million option or $500,000 buyout for next season. Ellis is 33 years old, will fail to be healthy for 125-plus games for the seventh time in nine seasons, and is hitting just .268/.339/.345 for the lowest OPS of his career and the third-worst OPS among AL second basemen, so Oakland choosing the buyout seems likely.
“Numbers-wise, it hasn’t been good,” Ellis told Stiglich. “There’s no doubt about that. They’re going to do what they want to do. Obviously I like it here. This is where I want to be. I just do what I can to help the team win, and that stuff will work itself out.”
Stiglich speculates that the A’s could decline Ellis’ option and then attempt to re-sign him at a lesser price, but his age and declining performance may be as big a factor as the money. Plus, the A’s have several young second basemen like Adrian Cardenas, Jemile Weeks, and Eric Sogard who could be close to MLB ready.

  1. BC - Sep 10, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    LOVE the photo!

  2. APBA Guy - Sep 10, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    Sad but true. We wonder about this all the time here. $5M is big money for the A’s, and there is no question Ellis’ hitting is unlikely to get better. He refuses to go the opposite field, and is too slight to drive the ball with authority in the Mausoleum. But there is no doubt about his fielding. He is by far the smoothest second baseman playing regularly in the AL, and he definitely leads the infield defense. But the A’s have drafted middle infield first the last two years, and have brought up several young guys who can hit as well as Ellis and cost 10% of what he does. So his future here is very much in doubt.

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