A.J. Ellis has become something of a coach in the clubhouse for the Dodgers, making his value kind of tough to gauge in actual contractual negotiations.
The two sides were able to make something work before getting to arbitration, reportedly.
This, according to Jon Heyman of CBS:
a.j. ellis and dodgers cut pre-tender deal for $4.5M
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 2, 2015
One interesting aspect to the signing is Ellis’ relationship with the Dodgers’ starting rotation. He and Clayton Kershaw have grown incredibly close by several reports and it’s also fairly widely known he and Greinke are good friends as well. If this gives the team even the slightest advantage in bring back Greinke, the $4.5 million is money well-spent.
Ellis has been one of the more important behind-the-scenes voices for the Dodgers, spending to much time scouting and gauging whatever statistics he possibly can for this starting pitchers.
On the field, Ellis enjoyed a nice bounce-back season in 2015, especially offensively. The combination of his mental understanding of the game and Yasmani Grandal’s youth and potential is a very good combination to have for the Dodgers moving forward.
Welcome back, A.J.! Now, if you could get on the phone and convince that Greinke guy to come back, that’d be great.