Another NLC platoon catcher is off the market now that the Astros have resigned catcher Brad Ausmus. Good thing, too; where would Houston be without his three homers? (Via AstroCast)
HOUSTON — The Houston Astros announced today that the club has re-signed catcher Brad Ausmus to a one-year, $2-million contract, plus incentives. The announcement was made by General Manager Ed Wade.
Ausmus, 38, hit .235 (82×349) with three home runs, 17 doubles and 25 RBI in 117 games with the Astros in 2007. He recorded his 100th career stolen base on July 27th, becoming the 21st catcher all-time to reach the 100-steal plateau. Defensively, he ranked fourth among National League catchers with a .995 fielding percentage, committing only four errors in 814 total chances. He made his franchise-record eighth Opening Day start at catcher for the Astros in 2007, breaking a tie with Alan Ashby.
“Brad has had a solid big league career and, despite the fact that he’s played for a couple of other teams, he considers himself to be a lifelong Astro,” said Wade. “We’re very pleased to have him back for 2008. We know that he can make a significant contribution on the field, and we know the impact he has in our clubhouse. Additionally, he can help mentor a young catcher like J.R. Towles, which will make both J.R. and the Astros better.”
Originally selected by the Yankees in the 48th round of the June 1987 draft, Ausmus has a .252 (1490×5905) career batting average with 256 doubles, 76 home runs, 572 RBI and 101 stolen bases in 1,833 career games. He won his third Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2006 after winning consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards from 2001-02 and ranks 12th all-time with 1,780 career games caught. His 12,040 career putouts ranks second all-time, trailing only Ivan Rodriguez (12,504). Ausmus has spent all or parts of 15 seasons with three teams, including the Astros (1997-98 and 2001-07), San Diego (1993-96) and Detroit (1996, 1999-2000).
Ausmus is the Houston franchise’s all-time leader in both games (1,166) and starts (1,057) at catcher and leads the Majors in games played, assists and total chances at the position since 1995. He also was a member of the American League All-Star team in 1999 while playing for Detroit. In 35 career postseason games, Ausmus has hit .245 (26×106) with five doubles, three home runs and seven RBI.