Dodgers lose Mark Ellis after he reportedly signs with Cardinals

Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis, here being tagged out during this collision with Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina in the 10th inning of Game 1 of the NLCS this past fall, will reportedly be joining St. Louis.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

They come and go, though sometimes it can feel like they’re just going.

The Dodgers have signed Juan Uribe, Brian Wilson, Dan Haren and Cuban Alex Guerrero this off-season, but have lost their share too, many they would have liked back.

Now, to the exit list of Skip Schumaker, Nick Punto, Ronald Belisario, Jerry Hairston Jr., Edison Volquez and Ricky Nolasco, you apparently can add Mark Ellis.

Ellis was the Dodgers’ starting second baseman the last two years, but now he has signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Dodgers wanted him to return as something of fall-back plan should Guerrero not look ready for prime time, but not so much that they were willing to pick up his $5.75-million option for 2014. Instead, they exercised a $1-million buyout, a decision that could come back to haunt.


Financial terms of the Ellis deal with the Cardinals have not yet been released, but they plan to use him as a right-handed complement to second baseman Kolten Wong and some at third base.

Ellis, 36, has played only seven games at third base but apparently is willing to turn himself into a utility player, something the Dodgers are in great need of with the departures of Schumaker, Punto and Hairston.

Ellis hit .270 last year, was a finalist for a Gold Glove, is a strong, mature presence in the clubhouse and willing to bat second or anywhere else in the lineup. He’s the kind of guy you need on a club dotted with superstars.

But the Dodgers just dropped $15 million on Uribe, after earlier signing Guerrero for $28 million, and Ellis’ playing time with the Dodgers was uncertain. And now he’s apparently out of the picture entirely.