Ellis, A's have talks about extension
Second baseman wants to stay, and team wants same
OAKLAND -- A's second baseman Mark Ellis openly admits to occasionally thinking about what it'd be like to play elsewhere, perhaps in front of sellout crowds and for ungodly piles of free-agent cash.
Then he remembers just how happy he's been right where he is.
Ellis is in the final year of a three-year contract, and he isn't all that interested in leaving Oakland, so he's encouraged that his agent, Jamie Murphy, recently started talking with A's assistant general manager David Forst about an extension.
"It's only been a couple of conversations, so we'll see where it goes from there," Ellis told MLB.com on Wednesday before the second game of a three-game Interleague series against the visiting Phillies at McAfee Coliseum. "But it's nice we're talking."
Ellis said he and A's GM Billy Beane spoke earlier in the year about a new deal, and based on what Forst said about his conversations with Murphy, Ellis and Beane were doing the same kind of dance.
"He was just kind of feeling me out a little to see if I wanted to stay," Ellis said of Beane, adding that money and years were not discussed then and haven't been discussed between Murphy and Forst.
"It was very preliminary," Forst said. "Both sides expressed interest. We know Mark is interested in staying, and we're certainly interested in having those kinds of conversations."
The A's used their first-round pick in this month's First-Year Player Draft on Jemile Weeks, a second baseman out of the University of Miami. Weeks, however, could end up in the outfield, and the A's don't have any top prospects at Ellis' position.
Ellis has downplayed the club's drafting of Weeks as any sort of sign regarding his future with the A's. What Ellis is concerned with is the club's immediate future, and he likes what he sees.
"We have a lot of good, young players here, and we're always going to have a chance to win here," Ellis said. "That's what makes me want to stay. Any player just wants a chance at winning, and it's always been that way since I've been here."
Ellis, 31, made his big league debut with the A's in 2002 and has developed into one of the premier defensive second basemen in the game.
"He makes my job easier," shortstop Bobby Crosby said earlier this month. "Obviously, I'd love to have him here next to me as long as possible."
Ellis said he's not particularly interested in the glitzy wine-and-dine process that often accompanies free agency.
"If I were to stay here, I'd rather it get done before the season ends," he explained. "If you're happy somewhere and you have a chance to stay, might as well just get it done."
Sounds good to Forst, who, like Ellis, said there is no timetable for a new deal to get done.
"It would certainly be preferable to us," Forst said, "to not have him out there shopping his services."
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.