Astros sign free-agent infielder Blum

Astros sign free-agent infielder Blum

HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros announced today that the club has signed free-agent infielder Geoff Blum to a one-year, $1.1-million contract, plus incentives. The deal also includes a club option for 2009. The announcement was made by General Manager Ed Wade.

"We're happy to have Geoff back in an Astros uniform. He is a very versatile player who can fill a lot of defensive roles and he swings a very good bat. While his versatility is a big plus, Geoff also has the ability to go out and play one position on a regular basis, giving us a lot of protection on the field. Plus, he's got great makeup and will bring energy to our club."

Blum, 34, hit .252 (83-for-330) with five home runs and 33 RBI for San Diego in 2007. In 122 games last season, he appeared at five different positions, including second base (61), third base (13), shortstop (12), left field (9) and first base (1). The majority of his starts were made as a second baseman (55). The switch-hitter spent the last two seasons with San Diego and appeared in four games for the Padres in the 2006 NLDS vs. St. Louis.

Entering his 10th Major League season, Blum returns to Houston, where he spent the 2002-03 seasons. In that two-year span with the club, Blum hit .241 (183-for-759) with 18 home runs and 87 RBI in 235 games. During the 2003 campaign, he notched a career-high 110 hits with a career-high-tying 52 RBI.

Blum owns a .251 career average (749-for-2981) with 71 home runs and 344 RBI in 1,022 games since 1999. He has appeared at every position except catcher, pitcher and center field in his career. Additionally, Blum has appeared at all four infield spots in each of the last eight seasons.

Blum has spent all or parts of nine Major League seasons with Montreal (1999-2001), Houston (2002-03), Tampa Bay (2004), Chicago (AL) (2005), and San Diego (2005-07). In 2005, he was a contributing member of the World Champion Chicago White Sox, hitting .500 (1-for-2) with a home run during the postseason. The home run was the eventual game-winner against the Astros in the top of the 14th inning of Game 3 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park.

During his last three seasons, Blum has been an integral utility player on three winning teams, including the World Series club with Chicago and a division championship club with San Diego in 2006. In the past three years, Blum's teams have a combined winning pct. of .567.