01/26/2009 9:49 PM ET
Dodgers agree to terms with Brad Ausmus on one-year contract
Three-time Rawlings Gold Glove catcher joins Los Angeles for his 17th Major League season
LOS ANGELES -- The National League West Division Champion Los Angeles Dodgers today agreed to terms with catcher Brad Ausmus on a one-year contract. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
Ausmus is a three-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, earning the honor for National League catchers while with Houston in 2001, 2002, and 2006. He ranks ninth in Major League history among catchers with 1,887 games and 1,720 starts. Among active catchers with at least 600 games played, the 39-year-old is tied for third with Bengie Molina with a .994 career fielding percentage behind Mike Redmond (.996) and A.J. Pierzynski (.995). Ausmus also ranks second in big league history with 12,486 putouts as a catcher, trailing only Ivan Rodriguez (13,124). He has thrown out 30.7 percent of potential base stealers (383 of 1,246) in 16 Major League seasons.
Ausmus has played 10 of his 16 big league seasons with the Astros, including the last eight in a row. He was Houston's Opening Day catcher for nine of those seasons, including each of the last six campaigns. The Dartmouth University alum, who makes his offseason home in Del Mar, CA, is Houston's all-time leader for catchers with 1,243 games and 1,119 starts. He had started at least 100 games at catcher for 11 straight seasons until starting 62 behind the plate in 2008.
Ausmus has played in five postseasons, including one World Series appearance in 2005 with Houston. He was an American League All-Star with Detroit in 1999, when he started 121 games, threw out 32 of 91 potential base stealers (35.2 percent), and established career highs with a .275 batting average, nine home runs, and 54 RBIs.
In 1,914 games during his career, Ausmus is batting .251 with 79 homers and 596 RBIs with San Diego (1993-96), Detroit (1996, 1999-2000), and Houston (1997-98, 2001-08). He batted .218 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 81 games with the Astros in 2008.
Ausmus was the recipient of the 2006 Darryl Kile Award presented by the Houston chapter of the BBWAA, which is given annually to the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros player who best exemplifies Kile's traits of "a good teammate, a great friend, a fine father and a humble man."
The Connecticut-born Ausmus was selected by the Yankees in the 48th round of the 1987 First-Year Player Draft.