12-year major league veteran Mark Ellis has decided to call it quits. The second baseman tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he has retired. The 37-year-old cited a desire to spend more time at home with his family.
A ninth round draft pick in 1999 out of the University of Florida, Ellis rose to the majors with the Oakland Athletics in 2002, hitting for a 103 OPS+ and posting a 2.7 WAR in his debut season, as the starting second baseman on Oakland's 103-win, peak Moneyball powerhouse. Over the next nine years with the A's, Ellis cemented himself as one of the better second baseman in baseball, posting solid numbers with the bat (95 OPS+), while truly excelling on defense (132 career defensive runs saved). He combined to post a 26.7 WAR in his nine seasons with the Athletics, including a peak of 16.0 WAR from 2005-2008.
Ellis was dealt to the Colorado Rockies mid-season in 2011, and would sign a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers the following offseason. He played reasonably well in his two seasons with the Dodgers, despite his age. He hit a combined .264/.328/.357 with a 92 OPS+ and 5.3 WAR. Last offseason, Ellis signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, but his production diminished significantly in 2014. He hit just .180/.253/.213 for a 32 OPS+ and -0.3 WAR in 202 plate appearances.
While Ellis' career on the diamond appears to be over, he seems to have many more years of baseball ahead of him if he chooses to go down that path. Athletics general manager Billy Beane tells Slusser that he is hopeful Ellis "will continue his baseball career with the A's", and it seems reasonable to suggest that Ellis will land some sort of front office or coaching gig in the near future.