Off Base
Hairston signing a coup for Dodgers

December 5, 2011 6:45 p.m.

You gotta know that whenever someone starts a sentence with “I hate to say I told you so,” that what’s about to follow is a rather in-your-face “I told you so.”

So it should come as no surprise when I say with a smile, I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. I assured you that the Dodgers were going to be able to sign players, very much including Matt Kemp, in enough with the gloom and doom, where I also said not to fret that the Dodgers had gone a whole week since the McCourt-Major League Baseball settlement without turning around the entire organization.

And today we have one nice signing to announce – in free agent second baseman Mark Ellis – and one blockbuster possibly about to be confirmed – in Matt Kemp.

Since I was taken to task by someone in the Dodgers’ pr department over the supposed offer to catcher Ryan Doumit last night, forgive me if I’m a little gun-shy on the Kemp deal. So I’m going to hold off for now. But since both’s Buster Olney and’s Ken Rosenthal are reporting Ellis to be in the fold with an $8.75 two-year contract, a tip of the Dodger cap to Ned Colletti for filling a gaping hole in the 2012 lineup.

Ellis was a favorite of Billy Beane in Oakland, and while you can decide if that’s all it’s cracked up to be, we’re talking about a very solid all around guy, a veteran infielder who knows how to play the game the way it should be played. Kind of a Jamey Carroll type, with less to offer in terms of batting average and OBP, but with considerably more sock.

After five straight double-figure home run seasons from 2005 to 2009, Ellis hit just 12 the past two, but an expectation of something close to or better than his career numbers of .266, .331, with a .728 OPS sounds about right to me.

And if you care about such things, the only time Ellis has made more than six errors in a year of second base play was his first season as a regular, in 2003, when he made 14. He’s committed all of six the last two years combined.

He’ll make a good complement to Dee Gordon, I’m quite sure. Just a very good development all the way around. I’m happy.

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