Dodgers sign veteran catcher Ausmus

Dodgers sign veteran catcher Ausmus

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers signed free-agent catcher Brad Ausmus to a one-year, $1 million deal on Wednesday, according to a report on

Ausmus, 39, was also reportedly being courted by the Padres because he was looking to play near his home in Del Mar, Calif., which is close to San Diego.

The 16-year veteran instead chose the Dodgers and is expected to back up All-Star Russell Martin next season. Ausmus is known for his ability to handle pitching staffs and has won three Gold Gloves in his career.

He batted .218 with three home runs and 24 RBIs in 81 games with the Astros last season. He saw action behind the plate 77 times while also playing two games at first base and game each at second base and third base. He earned $2 million last season.

Ausmus, who broke into the Majors with the Padres in 1993, has played for three different teams in his career but spent the last eight seasons with the Astros.

He's a career .251 hitter and ranks ninth on the all-time list for games caught with 1,857.

Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.