According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, the Marlins have agreed to bring A.J. Ellis to Miami on a 1-year, $2.5 million deal.
Ellis will serve as the backup to young catch J.T. Realmuto. In 545 plate appearances in 2016, Realmuto hit .303/.343/.428 with 11 homers. Realmuto, 25, will be the primary catcher in Miami given his age and what he showed throughout a full season in 2016.
In 196 plate appearances between Los Angeles and Philadelphia in 2016, Ellis hit .216/.301/.298 with just two home runs. However, with the Phillies, he hit .313/.371/.500 in 35 plate appearances.
Ellis will be reunited with former manager Don Mattingly with the move to Miami. Ellis was the starting catcher for the Dodgers for a few years, and was Clayton Kershaw’s personal catcher, so it was a shock when he was dealt this winter. Ellis provides a great veteran presence for the Marlins to replace Jeff Mathis, who signed with Arizona.