Seeking a veteran catcher to back up Russell Martin, the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday reached an agreement with free agent Brad Ausmus on a one-year, $1 million contract, according to a source close to those negotiations.
The Dodgers outbid the San Diego Padres, who began courting Ausmus months ago.
In the past two seasons, Martin started more games, played more games and played more innings at catcher than anyone else in baseball. Most observers consider that the primary reason Martin's offensive numbers declined last season, though he was an All Star for the second year in a row.
Though he's not much of an offensive threat, Ausmus is very good at handling a pitching staff, an area where the Dodgers would like to see Martin get better.
Seemingly minutes after the Dodgers signed Ausmus, the Padres responded by inking Henry Blanco to a one-year, $750,000 deal to back up http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/8294">Nick Hundley.