Dodgers re-sign catcher A.J. Ellis for 1 year, $4.5 million

LOS ANGELES (AP) Catcher A.J. Ellis has agreed to a $4.5 million, one-year contract to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers, avoiding arbitration.

The Dodgers announced the deal Wednesday.

The 34-year-old Ellis has spent his entire major league career with the Dodgers, batting .241 with 35 homers and 178 RBIs over parts of eight seasons.

After playing extensively for three years, Ellis had a reduced role last season after Los Angeles acquired Yasmani Grandal, who had an All-Star season. Ellis played just 63 games, but improved his offensive performance over 2014 despite 102 fewer at-bats.

Ellis is a reliable defensive backup to Grandal, and he remains Clayton Kershaw's preferred catcher.