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A.J. Ellis signs 1-year, $4.5 million deal with Dodgers, avoiding arbitration

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers avoided salary arbitration with A.J. Ellis, signing the catcher to a one-year contract for 2016, the team announced Wednesday. The one-year pact is worth $4.5 million, per multiple reports.

Wednesday night is the deadline to tender contracts for arbitration-eligible players in 2016, which often serves as impetus of sorts to get deals done. The Dodgers signed pitcher Joe Wieland on Tuesday to a one-year deal, worth $590,000.

The Dodgers have seven more players eligible for salary arbitration — catcher Yasmani Grandal, third baseman Justin Turner, outfielder Scott Van Slyke, closer Kenley Jansen, and relievers Chris Hatcher, Luis Avilan and Juan Nicasio. Of those, Nicasio is the only one in danger of getting non-tendered, having made $2.3 million in 2015 but getting left off the playoff roster.

Ellis, who will turn 35 on April 9, had a fine season in 2015, hitting .238/.355/.403 with seven home runs and nine doubles in 63 games and 217 plate appearances. But he shifted to a backup role with the acquisition of Grandal. Ellis started 55 games at catcher in 2015, compared to 100 for Grandal.

Ellis made $4.25 million in 2015.

With Ellis, the Dodgers have $155.89 million committed to 14 players in 2016, counting two — Erisbel Arruebarrena, Jose Tabata — off the 40-man roster.