Monday Rockpile: 2B Market Thins, Rockies Still Looking

Diamondbacks Re-Sign 2B Aaron Hill - AZ Snake Pit

Sunday Night, it was announced that Aaron Hill re-upped with the Arizona Diamondbacks to the tune of a 2-year, $11M contract. This continues to shave down the list of players who I wouldn't be completely ashamed to play 2B for the Rockies on a consistent basis by yet another able body. Did an All-Star caliber 2B just drop off of the market? Well, technically yes. But while Hill was not necessarily the best or worst candidate available, clearly Arizona saw the need to retain a consistent every-day type 2B, and then went ahead and signed Hill anyhow.

Really though, this is the 2B market of 2011: with the possible exception of Kelly Johnson, this 2B market is really just full of guys whose profile is kind of "Well, we'd love to start you, but you're really more of a utility guy; what's this? You've never played another position but 2B? Ok, you're a 2B.. But don't make me regret this!!!" 

There's something about 2B that makes GMs want to reward glovemen who never really learned another position and also never stepped up to the plate and played to the level to make themselves indisposable to their team. I guess I'm throwing Mark Ellis, Kelly Johnson, and Hill into this category.

Here's my thought: Go back out there and call Mark Ellis back. Is he the best option on the FA market? No, not really. You could still make the case that Kelly Johnson still holds that honor. You know, maybe. The fact remains that the Rockies don't HAVE a 2B right now, and the typical "Utility guy that we can cast as a 2B because we really don't have that option left" guys.... well, outside of Jamey Carroll, they're all kind of awful. Like, actually awful. That's why they're utility guys, I guess. Versatility or something.

Regarding Martin Prado, who's been all the jibba jabba these past few weeks, I really have nothing against acquiring him (Wouldn't it be funny if the Rockies somehow got both Prado AND Kelly Johnson?). This Prado chase is somewhat dangerous, though. Not because Prado might actually cost prospects/players, but because of the wait until we start to actually hear something and who might not be available once the waiting is through. 

Ellis is far from a sure thing, but Prado might just not happen at all. Think of it like high school prom. Plain Jane doesn't have a date, and while you don't feel terribly strongly about her, the two of you have a decent enough time and you could have a fine prom together. But you're interested in Charlene Cheerleader, so you devote your efforts to pursuing her. 

Actually, that analogy doesn't work, because targeting Martin Prado is like hoping that one really geeky girl turns super hot when she takes her glasses off and lets her hair down. 

Here's the problem though: If we're really going to devote the effort to getting a 2B in trade and just let Ellis go, we'd better be aiming for Howie Kendrick or Brandon Phillips or someone of similar ilk, because if we shoot and miss, Plain Jane feels snubbed and may not be willing to be our second choice if other suitors come a-calling, and we're going to end up asking that one girl who's always a little TOO into horses. Something tells me that Freddie Prinze Jr. isn't going to suddenly turn Johnny Herrera into Dustin Pedroia. Frankly, that's a big risk to be snubbing the surefire Mark Ellis phenomenon. Or something.

Frankly, positive production at the position will make me turn cartwheels. Seriously, I hate trying to man that stupid position.

Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Baseball Ambassador Buck O'Neil | SABR
Buck O'Neil was something special. Just an extraordinary man who could remind you of the joy of baseball like nobody else in the game ever could. The man who purportedly turned Ernie Banks from a moody young infielder to one of the happiest men in the game. Truly an exemplary ambassador to the game of baseball.

Just thinking about Buck O'Neil makes me suddenly not hate trying to man 2B as much anymore.

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