The Los Angeles Dodgers and A.J. Ellis avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract, the club announced Wednesday.
Ellis is expected to earn $4.5 million next season. On Tuesday the Dodgers avoided arbitration with Joe Wieland.
Both agreements came ahead of Wednesday’s deadline to tender contracts to players who are arbitration-eligible. Players non-tendered by the deadline become free agents.
Ellis lost the starting job behind the plate to Yasmani Grandal, but was an integral part of the roster when Grandal began to slump in the second half due to a shoulder injury.
Ellis appeared in 63 games, batting .238/.355/.403 with seven home runs, nine doubles, 21 RBIs, and a .336 wOBA and 116 wRC+.
The 34-year-old catcher was particularly effective after the All-Star break as he grew accustomed to a reduced role. In 33 second-half games, Ellis hit .255/.376/.459.
Beyond what Ellis produces at the plate, he’s regarded for his work ethic, preparation and ability to foster positive relationships with the pitching staff. Additionally, Grandal praised his fellow backstop for easing the transition to a new team.
The Dodgers avoided arbitration with Ellis prior to the 2015 season by agreeing to a one-year, $4.25 million contract.