A.J. Ellis endured over eight years in the minor leagues, and didn't get to the major leagues without plenty of hard work. So it's only natural that his agents are as diligent as Ellis, in preparation of the catcher's first experience with the salary arbitration process.
"This is my first time going through this, so I'm kind of sitting back and following my agents' leads," Ellis said on Wednesday. "It's something I'm not stressed about. I'm just going to use the advice and counsel of my agents, and make an informed decision."
Informed decisions are what Ellis makes on a daily basis both behind and at the plate, after hours of watching video and hitting in the batting cages or in batting practice. Coaches marvel at his work ethic, which produced results in 2012, his first full year as a starter.
Ellis hit .270/.373/.414 with 13 home runs in 133 games last year, and is line for quite a raise from the $490,000 he earned in 2012. As a Super Two player, among the top 22% of major league players in service time with at least two years but not yet three years of service, Ellis is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time.
Ellis was one of 133 major league players to file for arbitration on Tuesday, which is more of a technicality than anything. The real work comes when salary figures are exchanged on Friday, a day both sides have prepared for for quite some time.
"It should be a pretty quick resolution. One of the nice things about this process, given all the years it's been going on, pretty much everyone has an idea of where they are slotted and where they fit in," Ellis said. "There are no real big surprises on either side. Both sides are very well educated and do their homework and their research, and get to a pretty consistent number."
Back in December, I guessed that Ellis would earn $3 million in 2013. Matt Swartz at MLB Trade Rumors predicted a salary $1.7 million for Ellis.
Ellis first discussed arbitration with his agents, the New York-based ACES, in June when the Dodgers were in Philadelphia to play the Phillies. They met again in July in New York when the Dodgers played the Mets, when Ellis was given a comprehensive book of stats and comparable players, giving him a better idea of what he stood to make in arbitration.
A.J. Ellis' first salary arbitration process
True Blue L.A. | Jan 17