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Dodgers Sign Brad Ausmus

Just a day after reaching an agreement with Russell Martin on the largest contract for a catcher in his first year of arbitration eligibility, the Dodgers shored up their catching by adding veteran backstop Brad Ausmus.

According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Ausmus's new deal is for a single year and $1 million, nice and tidy. The longtime Astros man and three-time Gold Glove winner picked the Dodgers ahead of the Padres, who were courting him and had similar proximity to Del Mar. Calif, where Ausmus lives in the offseason (and, potentially, now year round).

The Ausmus signing was undoubtedly done with one eye on having a reliable backup and one on L.A.'s hope that he can play a light mentoring role with Martin, one of the team's bright emerging stars. Ausmus has always been considered one of the game's brighter players, and now that his age is increasing, his value may increasingly become a matter of his teaching ability.

Of course, losing out on Ausmus is just another blow to the Padres, who are struggling to get anything done this offseason. And with the divorce of Padres owner Tom Moores forcing him to sell the team, there's little hope that they'll get a sudden infusion of cash to add any substantial pieces before spring training.

By Cameron Smith  |  January 21, 2009; 6:52 PM ET
Categories:  Dodgers , Padres  
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Next: With Ausmus Gone, Padres Sign Blanco

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