30 year-old second baseman Mark Ellis has had a solid season, hitting .273/.333/.440 with 19 HR in 568 ABs. He's generally regarded as a fine defender. Today, the A's exercised their $5MM club option on the second baseman for the 2008 season.
It's a smart move; the market seems to continually undervalue this position (Brian Roberts signed for $14.3MM over two years). PECOTA actually figures Ellis to be worth a surprising $13.4MM in '08, with much of that value coming from his defense.
Billy Beane may still shop Ellis this winter. Baseball Prospectus's Kevin Goldstein feels that the club wouldn't lose much in switching to 25 year-old prospect Kevin Melillo. Ellis is locked in at a reasonable price and is better than any free agent second baseman. The Mets, Astros, or Rockies could be possible fits this winter.
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