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10/30/09 8:57 PM EST

Blum re-signs with Astros

Veteran inks one-year deal with option for '11

HOUSTON -- With the Astros facing uncertainty on the left side of the infield next season, the club re-signed veteran infielder Geoff Blum on Friday to serve as both a stabilizing presence on the field and in the clubhouse.

The Astros inked Blum to a one-year, $1.5 million contract for 2010 with a mutual option for 2011 worth $1.65 million.

"It's extremely nice," Blum said. "It's a good situation to be in -- good for myself and it's a phenomenal thing for my family."

Blum, 36, hit .247 with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs last year in 120 games with the Astros, spending most of his time at third base and committing only three errors. He's a .262 hitter with 44 homers and 206 RBIs in 487 career games in five years with the Astros.

"From a players' standpoint, I know the fans have been incredible the four or five years I've been there," Blum said. "Talking with guys on other teams in other cities, they say how nice it is to play at Minute Maid Park and in front of those fans. From a family standpoint, it's a great family city. My wife and kids love it there and being a part of the community."

Astros manager Brad Mills called Blum a "consummate professional."

"When they say 'Geoff Blum,' that's the first thing that comes to mind," Mills said. "He's a great guy to have on the field, great guy to have in the clubhouse. When you have a guy like that who can play different positions, he's invaluable to a manager."

Blum said he had heard positive thoughts about Mills from Randy Wolf and David Newhan.

"I've heard nothing but good things, and obviously being around [Boston manager] Terry Francona and that winning style is a good thing," Blum said. "Hopefully it rubbed off on him little bit."

Blum, a switch-hitter, was expected to platoon at third with Aaron Boone last year but wound up making the majority of starts after Boone missed most of the season following open-heart surgery. Rookie Chris Johnson could be in the mix at third base next year, too.

"As of right now, I think it would be a similar situation as last year," Blum said. "I know the at-bats are there, depending on what they want to do with Chris Johnson or if they have plans to bring in another right-handed-hitting third baseman. I'm planning on doing what Brad Mills asks me to do."

In 11 Major League seasons, Blum has hit .250 with 193 doubles, 95 homers and 446 RBIs in 1,256 games. He won a World Series with the Chicago White Sox in 2005, hitting a game-winning homer in the 14th inning of Game 3 at Minute Maid Park to beat the Astros.

"Geoff's a good player and has great character," general manager Ed Wade said. "He made three errors all season at third base, which speaks for itself with regard to his defensive ability, and I think he's a really solid piece of our club. His makeup and attitude in the clubhouse is exceptional, and you need players like that to win."

Wade said assistant general manager David Gottfried had some contract talks with Larry Reynolds, the agent for pitcher LaTroy Hawkins, and Reynolds indicated Hawkins wanted to wait until a manager was in place.

"Dave has reengaged with him the last couple of days," Wade said.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.