The St. Louis Cardinals have offered a contract to second baseman Mark Ellis after meeting with his agent during the 2013 Winter Meetings. The signing is more so to complement left-handed hitting second baseman Kolten Wong. It does not hurt Ellis that he’s able to hit left-handed pitching. His overall numbers in 11 seasons are .276/.348/.429 against left-handed pitching.
The Post-Dispatch reported an agreement in place over the weekend.
The agreement is almost official as Ellis needs to pass a physical.
In 131 at-bats against left-handed pitching, the veteran hit .282 with a .331 on-base percentage this past season. Ellis hit .304 with a .364 on-base percentage in games started by southpaws. Overall, Ellis hit .270/.323/.351 in 126 games in 2013.
The offseason is nowhere near being over but in the Cardinals bench continues to evolve following trades and free agent signings. The bench situation will look clear when Spring Training games begin in early 2014 but here is how things stand right now:
Catcher: Tony Cruz
Infield: Daniel Descalso
Second base: Mark Ellis
Shortstop: Pete Kozma
Outfield: Shane Robinson, Jon Jay
It’s possible that a player like Kozma could end up in Memphis or elsewhere. With minor league promotions, the depth on the bench can and will change.