Colorado Rockies trade rumors: A.J. Ellis to Denver?


We have discussed how the Rockies may be interested in some Miami Marlins players but catcher A.J. Ellis is somebody who we have not discussed before. 

According to Joe Frisaro, reporter for the Miami Marlins on Twitter, the Rockies have expressed interest in Marlins catcher A.J. Ellis.

With a .233/.314/.411 batting line, Rockies catchers have posted the worst wRC+ (45) in the majors this season and the current catchers on the 25-man roster (Tony Wolters and Ryan Hanigan) have an OPS+ of 62.

Comparing Ellis to the Rockies current catchers

Ellis has actually been worse as he has a .232 batting average with a .300 on-base percentage, and a .341 in 91 plate appearances in 27 games. Two home runs and five RBIs are not great either. He does have an OPS+ of 71 which is better than Wolters or Hanigan.

Ellis has been better, defensively, than Wolters and Hanigan as he is 62nd of the 85 qualifying catchers in pitch framing metrics, according to Baseball Prospectus. Wolters and Hanigan are 74th and 83rd, respectively.

Ellis has played very well in Coors Field, though, as he spent at decent amount of time in Denver when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2008-2016. In 28 games (27 of which were starts) at Coors Field, Ellis has 31 hits (in 98 at-bats) for a .316 batting average with eight doubles, four home runs, 21 RBIs, an on-base percentage of .400, a slugging percentage of .520. This equates to him playing 66% better than his usual offensive output (meaning a 166 tOPS+)

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He would also provide the Rockies with invaluable knowledge of the Dodgers. When he was with the Dodgers, he was Clayton Kershaw‘s personal catcher so he could provide the Rockies with some tips for him and other pitchers for the Dodgers when the Rockies face them later in the regular season and if they were to face them in the NLDS (which if the playoffs were held today, the Rockies would be a wild card team and if they won the game, they would face the Dodgers).

Ellis does have postseason experience and he has been excellent in the postseason. In 17 games of postseason play from 2013-15 and he has had 19 hits including five doubles, two home runs, five RBIs, a .365 batting average, a .450 on-base percentage, and a .615 slugging percentage.

He is also only signed through this season.

Final Thoughts

Ellis would be a great clubhouse presence and he would be a veteran player for Tony Wolters and the young starting pitchers to have but I don’t believe that he will provide a ton offense for the Rockies. They need some help at the position, defensively and offensively, and, at least by his play this season, Ellis has not shown that he could do that.

Next: Rockies trade rumors in the waning hours before the trade deadline

However, the Rockies were to acquire him, he would provide them with help in Coors Field, against the Dodgers, and in the postseason. Also, considering the amount of Marlins that the Rockies have been linked to in the past few weeks (AJ Ramos before he was traded to the New York Mets last night, Dan Straily (mentioned in the article linked above this section), or others that we mentioned in this article from a few weeks ago), I would not be surprised if Ellis would be one of two or three pieces that the Rockies would acquire if a deal does come to fruition.