Veteran catcher Brad Ausmus told Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles on Saturday that he intends to retire at the end of the 2010 season.
“This year is it,” Ausmus said.
The 41-year-old inked a one-year, $850,000 contract with the Dodgers in the offseason and was also given a $1 million mutual option for 2011. That option, of course, will not be exercised.
Ausmus suffered a back injury during the regular season’s opening week and played his first game since April 8 on Saturday night. He’s 2-for-8 on the year with a double and an RBI. Known mostly for his defense, the 17-year veteran collected three Gold Gloves and was named to the 1999 All-Star Game. He holds a .252/.325/.344 career batting line with 80 home runs and 1,567 total hits.
Mets first baseman Dominic Smith is dealing with a strained right quad and is set to undergo an MRI on Monday, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.
Smith, 22, did not play in the Mets’ first Grapefruit League game after showing up late. He played on Saturday, scoring two runs on a single and a hit-by-pitch in two plate appearances. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup.
The Mets signed Adrian Gonzalez during the offseason, which makes him the front runner for the starting job at first base. Smith needs to have a strong spring showing to make the 25-man roster but so far, it hasn’t gone well.
Smith made his major league debut in August last year and ended up playing in 49 games. He struggled to a .198/.262/.395 slash line with nine home runs and 26 RBI in 183 plate appearances.