AJ EllisWith one week left until pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch, the Dodgers and catcher A.J. Ellis avoided arbitration Saturday morning. Ellis, 32, asked for $4.6 million while the Dodgers filed at $3 million.

Since 2007, the Dodgers haven’t had to go to an arbitration hearing and only have closer Kenley Jansen left unsigned. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the two sides settled on a contract for the upcoming 2014 season:

While the two sides appeared far during the filing period, the Dodgers and Ellis didn’t get to the midpoint of $3.8 million, but the $50,000 incentive should be easy for Ellis to reach if he stays healthy. In the two years that he’s been the Dodgers primary catcher, Ellis is averaging 124 games started with 477 plate appearances.

With the departures of veterans Mark Ellis, Jerry Hairston Jr., Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto, Ellis will be counted on even more for his leadership this season. Behind the plate, the Missouri native threw out 44% of would-be base stealers and helped lead guide a Dodgers pitching staff that led baseball in ERA.

An oblique injury last season played a large role in Ellis’ offense taking a slight hit, but expect him to be ready to carry the load once again in 2014.

UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post updated the base salary figure: 

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About The Author

Ross Gasmer is a Social Media Producer for @TheHerd and was a contributing writer and editor for Dodger Nation. Follow him on Twitter @Ross_Gasmer12

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