Padres hire Ausmus as special assistant

Padres hire Ausmus as special assistant

SAN DIEGO -- A year ago, the Padres and general manager Jed Hoyer hired two former players -- Dave Roberts and Mark Loretta -- as special assistants to the baseball operations staff.

This year, Hoyer is again adding a former Padres player to his staff as Tuesday the team announced the hiring of former Major League catcher Brad Ausmus as special assistant to baseball operations.

"We are extremely excited to add Brad to our staff," Hoyer said in a release. "He brings a tremendous amount of experience from his long and successful playing career. We look forward to having him help with the development of catchers throughout our system."

Ausmus, who played last season with the Dodgers, played for the Padres from 1993-96, starting his 18-year Major League career with the team.

Ausmus hit .222 in 63 at-bats for the Dodgers last season. Now he'll be working in the front office, while also spending time with his family. Ausmus makes his home in San Diego.

"It allows me to stay involved in the game and gives me an opportunity to be involved with the organization that I first broke into the big leagues with," Ausmus said.

Ausmus played for the Tigers (1996, 1999-2000), Astros (1997-98, 2001-08) and Dodgers (2009-2010). Ausmus was a career .251 hitter, a three-time Gold Glove winner and an All-Star with the Tigers in 1999. He was hoping that at some point he would end up playing again in San Diego, but he instead signed with the Dodgers before the 2009 season.

"I thought there might be a chance a couple of years ago but it didn't work out. I don't regret it; we went to the playoffs in Los Angeles," Ausmus said.

Ausmus, lauded for his defensive skills and ability to handle a pitching staff throughout his career, threw out 30.2 percent of basestealers in his career.

Ausmus was acquired by San Diego from the Rockies on July 26, 1993, and made his Major League debut with the Padres that season.

Ausmus hit .255 over four seasons with the Padres and currently ranks among the club's all-time catchers in games played (fifth), hits (fourth) and stolen bases (second).

Now he returns to the franchise that allowed him to break into the Major Leagues, though there aren't many familiar faces around that were in San Diego during his stint as a player here.

"The funny part is people I knew with the Padres when I was playing here are either gone or have gone and come back," Ausmus said. "There's been wholesale changes, not just players but front office and ownership."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.