Ausmus gets one-year, $2M deal to return to Astros

HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros signed catcher Brad Ausmus to
a one-year contract worth $2 million plus incentives on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old hit .235 with three home runs and 25 RBIs in 117
games for Houston last season. He committed only four errors in 2007
and ranked fourth among catchers in the National League with a .995
fielding percentage.

It will be the 10th season in Houston for the three-time Gold
Glove winner, who played for the Astros from 1997-98 and returned
in 2001. He is the franchise leader at catcher in games (1,166) and
starts (1,057). Last season he became the 21st catcher to steal 100

"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," Astros general manager Ed Wade said.

Ausmus, a career .252 hitter, also played for San Diego and