Ausmus signs 1-year deal with Dodgers

The Dodgers have agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal with veteran catcher Brad Ausmus.

The 39-year-old Ausmus, a veteran of 16 seasons, hit .218 with three homers in 81 games for the Astros last season. Going into the 2008 season, Ausmus was slated to be the backup for J.R. Towles, but wound up getting a lot more playing time after Towles struggled. Presumably, he will serve as a back-up to Russell Martin.

Ausmus has played in 1,914 games in his career, with 79 career homers, and has long been renowed for his ability to work with pitchers, and to frame pitches.

Buster Olney covers baseball for ESPN The Magazine.