On Thursday afternoon before the Rockies took the field against the White Sox, the club traded Triple-A right-hander Bruce Billings and cash to the Oakland Athletics for second baseman Mark Ellis.
Ellis is having a difficult season, hitting just .217 in 62 games, but he is a career .265 hitter and is a very good defender at second base. The move gives the Rockies another veteran who can fill in at second base, where the club's bats have gone cold since Jonathan Herrera started the season on fire.
This is just a theory, but I believe the move represents the end of the Aaron Cook era in Colorado. How does acquiring a second baseman end the era of a pitcher? Well, the Rockies currently do not have any additional spots remaining on the 40-man roster. That means to squeeze Ellis on, the club must make a move. That move could easily be designating Cook for assignment, opening up a spot, then optioning either Eric Young, Jr. or Chris Nelson back to Triple-A in four days in favor of a pitcher, most likely Greg Reynolds, when Cook's spot comes around.
Whether that happens or not should be interesting, but the move seems to be something that indicates the Rockies are looking for a veteran hitter who can bring some leadership to the clubhouse and take some good at-bats, something the Rockies have struggled with throughout the first half of the season.