The Colorado Rockies made a move Thursday afternoon, trading RHP Bruce Billings to the Oakland Athletics for 2nd baseman Mark Ellis.
While it was exciting to see the Rockies—a team falling in the standings—make a move, this trade seems straight-up silly.
Colorado was already rock-solid at second, with Jonathan Herrera, Chris Nelson and Eric Young Jr. all able to play the position. While none of the three are power players, each brings a youthful exuberance, speed on the basepaths and decent or better defense.
So why would Rockies’ GM Dan O’Dowd trade for another second baseman?
And on top of not needing a player at second, Ellis has struggled in this, his ninth season. Ellis’ .217 BA, .253 OBP and .290 SLG percentages are all actually lower than those of Herrera (.237, .311, .303) and Nelson (.255, .250, .388).
To be fair, Ellis’ career averages (.265, .331, .397) are much better than this season, with 24 doubles, 121 hits and 52 RBI on average per year.
Still, this season, Ellis has been a shadow of his usual self (47 H, 11 2B, 16 RBI).
Let’s get this straight, the O’Dowd traded for an older player that isn’t producing as well as his two farm-grown talents?
O’Dowd has been celebrated for building one of the best farm systems in baseball, but this move doesn’t show the most confidence in said farm talent.
And beyond getting a player at arguably the deepest position on the diamond, there are many other holes that the Rockies GM could have filled.
The Rockies rotation could be improved with an additional starter, the bullpen bolstered with a solid reliever or he could have tried to trade for a stud third baseman.
Losing De La Rosa and the injuries/disappointing play of Ubaldo and Cookie has put a strain on things, adding a starter could remedy that.
But an even more glaring need is in the reliever role. At times, the Rockies’ starters have played well, only to have someone from the bullpen blow their lead and lose the game.
And is Wiggington the starter for the rest of the season at third base? Wouldn’t the Rockies be deeper with him as a utility man, the role he was brought in to play?
Now O’Dowd says he has a “little” budget to play with and one more deal to make this season, what he can do with it will be seen.
Chris Nelson and EY Jr. were just optioned according to Troy Renck’s twitter at 3:47 pm, will one of them possibly be traded?
Only time will tell, but what is certain is that the Rockies need pitching help if they want to make a run, catch up in the NL West and make the playoffs for the third time in five years.
Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two part evaluation of the Mark Ellis trade. Part Two, my analysis in favor of the trade, will run in the morning along with a poll. Of course, if you have something to say now, by all means, go for it.