Billy Must Know That Winning is Near.
For an organization that is, shall we say, frugal? And of course does not make that much money to begin with. This must be a move that is based on Billy Beane expecting to win either this upcoming season or the next. Billy Beane has locked up the underrated, but injury prone Mark Ellis. Not “Nick Johnson like,” in that Ellis cannot stay on the field at all, but more like the “JD Drew type” where he plays well more than half the games, but has only a few full seasons under his belt.
Mark Ellis has been an above average defender at second for some time now. And his bat is plenty capable enough for that position too. But Ellis is far from a star, and that is understood when he only accepted a two-year deal, that is worth $10 million, with an option for a third. An Oakland based writer after the 2007 season, nitpicked his way into a “Mark Ellis was as valuable as Derek Jeter” debate. It was a good effort, and Ellis and Jeter weren’t too far apart to call him crazy that season. But Ellis is no Jeter.
Ellis however, can still help a team win, and if Billy Beane believes so, then so do I. Unless of course Billy has something else up his sleeve… So Beane must be confident that either this season or next, the A’s could win 90 games. He must be thinking that maybe the Angels are primed to be pounced with all of the decisions that they have to make this offseason. And if not, it is very unlikely the Angels repeat and win 100 games, especially if there is a team that can actually challenge them within the division. Because Billy Beane does not just give millions of dollars to 32 year old players. Beane is a bargain hunter. Paying money to a 37 or 38 year old player isn’t out of the question for him, but it will only be for one year, and will be for far less money than this. If Beane thought the team had little chance to win that 90 game mark that he eyes, then I have trouble believing that he extends Ellis’ stay in the bay.