Search is on for starting second baseman

Search is on for starting second baseman

DENVER -- The Rockies are officially searching for a second baseman, now that Mark Ellis -- who performed well at the position and as the No. 2 hitter in the lineup after arriving in a trade with the Athletics last season -- is close to a two-year, $8.75 million contract with the Dodgers.

The Rockies also pursued Jamey Carroll, a one-time Rockie. However, Carroll, who was with the Dodgers last season, signed a two-year, $7 million contract to become the Twins' starting shortstop.

A possibility for the Rockies is another one of their former players, Clint Barmes, who started for the Astros at shortstop last season. Manager Jim Tracy likes Barmes' ability to play shortstop, which would cover the team in case Troy Tulowitzki is injured. Barmes is fielding open-market offers. The Braves' Martin Prado and the Padres' Orlando Hudson have been identified as trade possibilities.

Ellis struggled through slumps and injuries early last season with the Athletics, but hit .274 with six home runs, 13 doubles and 25 RBIs in 70 games after joining the Rockies.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.