Erstad signs one-year deal with Astros
Veteran to serve as lefty bat and backup outfielder off bench
HOUSTON -- Outfielder Darin Erstad has reached an agreement with the Astros on a one-year contract worth $1 million plus incentives, general manager Ed Wade confirmed on Thursday.
Erstad, a veteran of 12 big league seasons, will provide a left-handed bat off the bench, as well as serve as a backup outfielder. The 33-year-old has experience at all three outfield positions and first base. In his career, Erstad has played 499 games in center, 272 in left, 10 in right and 601 games at first base.
"He'll be a left-handed bat off the bench," Wade said. "He has a lot of versatility. He's a great makeup guy. He's the prototypical professional player -- he brings a lot to the table and we're glad to have him."
Erstad played 11 years with the Angels before signing with the White Sox prior to the 2007 season. He has a career batting average of .284 with 118 home runs and 657 RBIs.
In 2007 with Chicago, Erstad hit .248 with four homers and 32 RBIs over 87 games. He missed nearly half the season with a sprained left ankle.
The top overall pick in the June 1995 First-Year Player Draft by the Angels, Erstad is a two-time All-Star (1998, 2000) who is also the only player in Major League history to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award as an infielder (first base, 2004) and an outfielder (2000, '02).
Erstad holds the American League record for consecutive errorless fielding chances by an outfielder with 723 from June 30, 2001-Sept. 22, 2002, breaking the previous mark held by Ken Griffey Jr. (573, 1992-93).
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.