The Dodgers have some decisions to make as the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players approaches. One such player who is up for salary arbitration is the likeable, and fan favorite catcher A.J. Ellis. The decision is especially tough considering that not only is he Clayton Kershaw‘s friend, but also is beloved by all Dodger fans.
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
The question remains if the Dodgers should actually tender A.J. a contract or let him go. A.J. is a second year arbitration eligible player due to his 4.01 year MLB service time. Last season A.J. earned 3.5 million dollars in his first year of arbitration, and earned two million dollars in 2013. How much would A.J. get in arbitration? A better question is how much does A.J. deserve in arbitration? I have no idea.
I would like to ask you guys, and find out what you think, in our latest poll. Do you think the Dodgers should tender A.J. a contract, or not? And how much do you think he should get? Please let us know by casting your vote below.
A.J. is coming off perhaps his worst season in the majors to date on both sides of the ball. A.J. particularly stunk with the bat as he batted just .191 (54 for 283) in 283 at-bats. Overall A.J. posted a triple slash line of .191/.323/.254 with three home runs and 25 runs batted in while paying in 93 games. A.J. was still able to have an uncanny ability to work counts and draw walks. He still drew 53 walks and whiffed just 57 times. A.J. posted a .577 OPS in 2014.
On defense A.J. is considered to be a below average pitch framer. According to advanced metrics. He threw out 25% of base stealers, way down from his 44% caught stealing percentage during the 2013 season.
A.J. did have a good postseason this fall. In the NLDS against the Cardinals, A.J. batted .538 (7 for 13) with one home run, two RBI and four runs scored in four games. A.J. has always been a clutch hitter in the postseason. He has a career .386 (17 for 44) average in the postseason, with an 1.163 OPS.
A.J.’s offensive skills have declined over the last three years. The 33-year old catcher hit .270 with 13 home runs in 2012, and .238 with 10 home runs in 2013. A.J. has hit 28 career big league home runs, and has a .694 OPS in parts of seven major league seasons. A.J. is a career .242 hitter with 191 free passes in 428 MLB games.