As the Winter Meetings roll on, the Miami Marlins continue to make a series of small moves. After signing veteran pitchers Jeff Locke and Dustin McGowan earlier today, the Marlins brought in catcher A.J. Ellis on a one-year, $2.5 million deal. Buster Olney of ESPN broke the news.
The Marlins have agreed to terms with A.J. Ellis on a 1-year deal for $2.5 million.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 7, 2016
Marlins Bring in A.J. Ellis on One-Year Contract
Ellis, 35, has been in the major leagues since 2008, and has played every game of his career thus far with the Los Angeles Dodgers, aside from the few he played with the Philadephia Phillies after being traded late last season. Ellis was never truly a primary backstop in Los Angeles; he played more than 100 games in a season only twice. However, his lockerroom presence was lauded. A young Marlins team on the verge of contending will find that useful.
Though he known more for his glove than his bat, Ellis did have a couple solid years at the plate. He best season came in 2012, when played a career-high 133 games. That season, Ellis set personal bests in OPS (.787), home runs (13), doubles (20), hits (114), and RBI (52). Since then, his offensive production and playing time has declined. Near the end of his tenure with the Dodgers, he served primarily as the personal catcher to Clayton Kershaw.
With the Marlins, Ellis will back up young star catcher J.T. Realmuto, who is becoming one of the better backstops in the game. Miami has been in need of a backup catcher since Jeff Mathis signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks last week. While he may not play often, Ellis is a nice addition to this Marlins squad.