Mark Ellis, he of sparkling defense and a current not-too-shabby .284/.350/.364 slash line, looks to have some trade value right now, and is out of contract at the end of the year. He does, however, have an option for $6.5MM next year that we can pick up and hope he can push himself into type B status for 2012. However, his current contract was signed before the FA market crash and $6.5MM can buy you a better player than Ellis these days. Orlando Hudson, who is excellent and not as injury prone as Ellis, signed a $5MM 1 year deal this year. To put it in perspective, his WAR from 2008-present is 6.3, Ellis's is 4.7. So playing Hudson over Ellis adds 1-2 wins to your team every year, yet Ellis would be in line to make more money than Hudson, but Ellis isnt as valuable as he, so that in mind..
CHOICE A: picking up his option, does not seem like a wise move, as we could in theory get a better player on the FA market next offseason. 32 year old 2Bs dont exactly set the market on fire these days as evidenced above. Options here are to:
1. Trade him. Even though it will be basically a O-Cab-Ladendorf deal, let him go. Next year we can get a better player for him (or might even have one internally) who will give us the same value for less money, bye Mark, its been fun.
2. Trade him, but re-sign him for less money in the offseason. Is there a team who will pay him $7MM next year? No way man, he's pretty much a $3MM player at this point. If you like our chances of us getting him (he doesnt seem like a bitter or spiteful guy, he's a professional and understands how teams try not to overpay for people). This option gets us a player, plus Ellis, plus if Ellis suddenly goes bezerk, 2005 style, and launches himself into Type A/B status, then we get draft picks. Its the most risky move, but has the potential for the highest reward.
CHOICE B: Keep him and pick up the option. He might not be that easy to sign as a FA, plus you might not have confidence with our internal options.