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Roly Poly is Back in Blue (Ausmus Too)

According to a tweet by Ken Gurnick the September catalyst is back, and now we are left to wonder why we wasted a contract on Jamey Carroll.

The Dodgers and free agent infielder Ronnie Belliard have agreed to a one-year contract for $825,000

Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports that Belliard can also earn $250,000 in incentives based on plate appearances.

UPDATE: Hernandez also reports that Belliard may or may not see all that money.

Dodgers: Belliard's contract is not guaranteed.

Belliard slugged over .600 during his reign of terror and provided some key moments during the playoffs. When he sprained an ankle and was unable to play from Sept 27th to Oct 2nd the Dodgers lost every game. When he finally returned on Oct 3rd he provided a key pinch hit which helped propel the Dodgers to a 5 - 0 victory and a clinching of the NL West. Belliard also added the game-tying single, setting up Mark Loretta's swan-song theatrics in the exciting comeback the Dodgers pulled off in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Cardinals

"Ronnie was a tremendous asset to us at the end of last year in both a starting role and off the bench," said GM Ned Colletti. "He can play three different positions in the infield, has postseason experience, and adds to the versatility of our club."

While some analysts feel Belliard is an afterthought, the fact is that Belliard punishes left hand pitching, something this Dodger bench sorely needed. Having him around in 2010 either as a back up to DeWitt or platooning with DeWitt should help the offense. This writer is damn glad he's back in the fold.

UPDATE: Dylan Hernandez also brings the news that Brad Ausmus has chosen backup catching over retirement:

The Dodgers have agreed to a new deal with backup catcher Brad Ausmus, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The contract for Ausmus is $1 million guaranteed, which includes $850,000 in salary for 2010, and a $1 million mutual option for 2011, with a $150,000 buyoutAusmus can also earn up to $100,000 in incentives: $25,000 for each of 150, 175, 200 and 225 plate appearances.

“Brad provided us with a very strong presence off the bench last season and his contributions were many, both on and off the field,” said Colletti. “We are very glad that he decided to return for another season in Los Angeles and look forward to him filling a similar role this year.”

The 40-man roster now has 39 players.