You will undoubtedly be shocked by this bit of news …

… but the Dodgers have decided NOT to pick up the 2009 contract option on backup catcher Gary Bennett, who wasn’t heard from at all after he went onto the DL on May 20 with plantar fasciitis at a time when he also admitted to what anyone watching already knew, that he had the yips. He appeared in just 10 games, starting six, all while earning $825,000. His option was for $900,000, and the buyout is $50,000. Not sure what the Dodgers are going to do about a backup catcher, a position it appears they will make more use of next year. But if they don’t find anybody that blows them away, they could do well enough simply by keeping Danny Ardoin, whom they still control because he has less than three years of service time. Good guy in the clubhouse who accepts his role in a professional manner.

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  • Brooklyn Dodger

    Instead of relying on known mediocrities as backup catchers, why not give a fresh face a chance. A.J. Ellis had a nice year at LV in 2008. I believe he threw out about 43% of baserunners, and had the following stats:

    Avg. = .321
    OBP = .436
    Slg. = .456
    OPS = .892

    At the very least he deserves to be seriously considered. We already know what we got (i.e., don’t have) with Ardoin. At the very least Ellis could turn out to be a pleasant surprise, and probably would find it hard to be worse than what we’ve had the last few years. It appears as if he can handle the job defensively, and perhaps he might wield a potent enough stick to allow the Dodger to give Russell Martin a day off each week.

  • BruinFBBB

    Hmm. Maybe they want to be able to get him ABs more regularly than would be available to him as a back-up?

  • LAD Lavigne

    Tony, whats up with some Dodgers officials saying that Russell would either be traded or move to 3rd base?

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/11/russell-martin.html

  • Tony Jackson

    Bruin, your argument would make sense if Ellis were thought of as an everyday catching prospect. He is not. He has always been viewed as a big-league backup, and he definitely COULD get a shot at the job in spring training. Lavigne, I already looked into that one. Nothing to it, is what I was told.

  • BruinFBBB

    For the record, my question was not a sarcastic one. So I appreciate the answer. Makes sense though as he is 27 or 28 years old and in AA…

    But I thought the Dodgers’ liked Martin’s firey attitude? I can’t imagine them wanting to trade him unless he wasn’t a good clubhouse guy. Gammons must be bored or something?

  • Tony Jackson

    Bruin, my apologies, I thought I was responding to your comment, it was actually Brooklyn’s comment to which I was responding, that Ellis is projected as a backup, not an everyday guy. As for Gammons, I have no idea where he got that, but it is highly unlikely that they are trading Russell Martin.