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Dodgers nab a starting second baseman: Mark Ellis

Mark-ellis_600

Pretty sure this officially qualifies as a busy Monday for the Dodgers.

Not only do they have big contract news with Matt Kemp, but now claim a starting second baseman.

Will Ned Colletti have anything left to do at the winter meetings?

The Dodgers have agreed to a two-year deal with Mark Ellis for $8.75 million. The deal was first reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney.

This is what you might call a slightly more curious signing than Kemp.

Ellis turns 35 next season, hit .248 in 2011, and although a solid glove at second, cannot play shortstop.

As opposed to Jamey Carroll, who will be 38, but can play all over the field and recently left the Dodgers to sign with the Twins for two years for approximately $7 million. And hit .290.

The addition of Ellis -- who started last season with the A’s before being traded in June to the Rockies -- leaves the Dodgers a set infield of James Loney at first, Ellis at second, Juan Uribe at third and Dee Gordon at shortstop. At least until the Dodgers announce they have signed Albert Pujols.

Ellis has been in decline the past two years, but still offers more RBI production than the light-hitting Carroll. Ellis had 41 combined RBI last season, which would have been a career-high for Carroll, who had only 17 for the Dodgers. Ellis has mostly hit second in the lineup.

The Dodgers will still need a utility player who can play shortstop, which could spell the end of Aaron Miles but prove a boon to the hopes of versatile infielder Justin Sellers.

Of course, somebody had to play second base for the Dodgers, and the pool of available players was less than thrilling. And it only got worse when Aaron Hill decided to re-up with the Diamondbacks for two years at $11 million.

The market is what it is, which is head-scratching time, though it looks just lovely to aging infielders.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Rockies second baseman Mark Ellis slides safely into third base after advancing from first on a single by teammate Dexter Fowler against the Giants in San Francisco in September. Credit: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

 
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