A.J. Ellis has had a very busy offseason, as the Dodgers catcher underwent knee surgery in October and then witnessed his wife give birth to their third child in the car as he drove to the hospital.
His wife and daughter are doing well and so is Ellis, who told Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times that he’s fully recovered from surgery and will be ready to go for spring training.
“I’m doing all my regular baseball activities,” Ellis said. “It looks like a normal January for me.”
Dilbeck notes that Ellis lives in Wisconsin during the offseason and did his rehab work with the Brewers’ medical staff after the Dodgers “arranged the medical cooperation.”
Ellis is one of the few things about the Dodgers that hasn’t gotten headlines during the past year, but after spending a decade in the minors he got his first extended opportunity at age 31 and took advantage in a big way by hitting .270 with 13 homers and a team-leading .373 on-base percentage in 133 games.
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain has a deal with the Brewers. No confirmation or terms of the contract have been confirmed by the team yet.
Chamberlain, 31, had a promising resurgence in the Indians’ bullpen during 2016. He shaved his ERA down to a modest 2.25 mark over 20 innings with Cleveland, paired with an 8.1 SO/9 and less-than-stellar 5.0 BB/9 rate. Over a decade in the major leagues, the right-hander holds a career 3.81 ERA, 8.8 SO/9 and 3.7 BB/9 rate.
The veteran righty was released by the Indians in July after refusing re-assignment. He’s expected to compete for a major league role this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.