Don Mattingly on A.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal and personal catchers.

Yasmani Grandal

Switch-hitting Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has a 105 OPS-plus in his career batting right-handed and an 88 OPS-plus batting left-handed. (Getty Images)

Don Mattingly addressed the media yesterday for the first time since the Winter Meetings. I posted a bunch of videos from his interviews here. My story about the impending center-field competition is here.

Mattingly addressed a number of topics after my video recorder ran out of memory, or unfit for print. One was the catcher position.
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Update: Dodgers, A.J. Ellis avoid arbitration at $4.25 million.

Catcher A.J. Ellis batted .191 in 93 games for the Dodgers last season. (Associated Press photo)

Catcher A.J. Ellis batted .191 in 93 games for the Dodgers last season. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers and catcher A.J. Ellis have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth a reported $4.25 million.

Ellis, 33, made $3.55 million in 2014, when he batted .191/.323/.254 in 93 games. The new contract would make Ellis the 12th-highest paid catcher in baseball, not bad for a player who has yet to hit free agency.

MLBTradeRumors.com projected Ellis to earn $3.8 million in arbitration.

The Dodgers acquired switch-hitting catcher Yasmani Grandal from the San Diego Padres in December with the intention of dividing playing time between Grandal and Ellis in 2015.

Five other Dodgers remain eligible for arbitration: pitchers Kenley Jansen and Juan Nicasio, infielder Justin Turner and outfielder Chris Heisey. The Dodgers avoided arbitration with infielder Darwin Barney in December by agreeing to a $2.5 million contract.

Russell Martin, Jason Hammel, not Hanley Ramirez are best fits for Dodgers: report.

Sports Illustrated today ranked the top 50 free agents and picked two — catcher Russell Martin and pitcher Jason Hammel — as “best fits” for the Dodgers.

Of Hammel, Ben Reiter writes:

He’d be a smart signing for the Dodgers and could make for a very effective No. 4 starter behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

And of Martin:

The Dodgers have been getting by with A.J. Ellis behind the plate for a few seasons, but that will change in 2015. New team president Andrew Friedman’s first major expenditure will likely be to bring Martin back to the club for which he played between 2006 and ’10.

Free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez, meanwhile, was tabbed a “best fit” for the New York Yankees. The Dodgers are expected to extend Ramirez a qualifying offer today.

Each qualifying offer is a one-year, $15.3 million contract. If the player rejects it and signs elsewhere, his former team receives a supplemental-round draft pick in 2015.