Archive for Sunday, December 9, 2001

Catcher leaves KC for two-year deal in Houston

December 9, 2001

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— Free-agent catcher Gregg Zaun and the Houston Astros agreed Saturday to a $2.35 million, two-year contract.

Zaun, 30, spent much of last season on the disabled list after tearing a muscle in his left calf during spring training with the Kansas City Royals. He played 39 games and batted .320 with six homers and 18 RBIs.

He was originally selected by Baltimore in the 18th round of the 1989 amateur draft and didn't make his major league debut until June 24, 1995, with the Orioles. He also played for Florida (1996-98) and Texas (1999).

His best season was with the Marlins' World Series championship team in 1997, when he batted .301 in 58 games, including 38 starts.

"Gregg Zaun gives us a very valuable lefthanded hitting option," Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker said. "This will continue to create flexibility and balance in our lineup for manager Jimy Williams."

Zaun gets $1.15 million next year and $1.2 million in 2003. He can earn an additional $500,000 per season in performance bonuses.

A day earlier, Houston signed free agent catcher Scott Servais to a minor league contract that would pay him $400,000 if he makes the major league roster.

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