Marlins sign Ellis, Locke, McGowan to one-year contracts

The Miami Marlins today announced that the Club has signed catcher A.J. Ellis, left-handed pitcher Jeff Locke and right-handed pitcher Dustin McGowan to one-year contracts through the 2017 season. The announcements were made by Marlins' President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill.

Ellis, 35, is entering his 10th season in the Majors; he played for the Dodgers from his debut in 2008 through August 25 of last season, when he was traded to Philadelphia. He posted a 3.38 catcher ERA over 57 games behind the plate between the two clubs this year, which ranked fourth in the Majors (min. 50 games played). Since the start of 2008, Ellis, a native of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, leads Major League catchers (min. 400 games played) in fielding percentage (.997) and catcher ERA (3.32).

Locke, 29, joins the Marlins after spending the first six years of his Major League career with Pittsburgh. He was named the Pirates' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012, and followed up that campaign by earning a spot on the National League All-Star team in 2013, when he went 10-7, 3.52 over 30 starts. Locke has thrived at Marlins Park in his career, going 2-1, 1.76 (30.2 ip/6 er) in four career starts, including his only career shutout (9.0 ip, 3 h, so) on May 30, 2016, a 10-0 win for Pittsburgh. A native of North Conway, New Hampshire, Locke has made at least 21 starts in three of the last four seasons, including a career-high 30 in both 2013 and 2015.

McGowan, 34, is returning to Miami after posting a 2.82 ERA (67.0 ip/21 er) in 55 relief appearances in 2016, his first season with the club. The Savannah, Georgia native set career highs in appearances, relief innings, and strikeouts in relief (63) last year. Only David Phelps (2.31) and A.J. Ramos (2.81) posted better ERAs out of the bullpen for Miami last season, while McGowan's .202 average against was second to Kyle Barraclough (.176), and ranked 11th in the National League among right-handed relievers. McGowan began his career with Toronto (2005-14) before moving to the Senior Circuit with Philadelphia in 2015.