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Can Miami replace veteran backstop Jeff Mathis with another veteran from the NL?

Will AJ Ellis be the man to replace Jeff Mathis as the Marlins' backup catcher?

With the news of Jeff Mathis leaving the Miami Marlins to play baseball for the Arizona Diamondbacks, the south Florida team is in the market for a backup backstop to play behind J.T. Realmuto.

One name that has immediately been linked to Miami is A.J. Ellis, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Ellis, 35, is a free agent after hitting .216 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies last season.

Heyman took to his Twitter account to report that the Phillies and the Marlins appear to be the frontrunners in signing Ellis.

Ellis has been The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw’s personal catcher in Los Angeles and like both clubs in Miami and Philadelphia, his leadership will be just as important as his ability to play in the field.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported last week that Ellis and the Phillies have a mutual interest.

The 35-year-old Ellis was selected by the Dodgers in the 18th round of the 2003 MLB Draft. He has played in the minors with the South Georgia Waves, Vero Beach Dodgers, Double-A Jacksonville Suns, and Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. On September 5, 2008, his contract was purchased by the Dodgers, and he made his debut on September 15.


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