01/03/2007 2:53 PM ET
Orioles sign Aubrey Huff
1B-OF agrees to 3-year contract
The Orioles today announced that they have signed free agent 1B-OF Aubrey Huff to a three-year contract through the 2009 season.
Huff, 30, has batted .285 and 141 home runs in his major league career. He has hit at least 21 home runs in each of his last five seasons, averaging 26 homers.
The left-handed batter has played first base, third base, right field and left field since coming up to the majors in 2000 with Tampa Bay. He spent all or part of his seven seasons in the majors with the Devil Rays until being traded to Houston last July, following the All-Star break. He batted a combined .267 with 21 homers and 66 RBI in 136 games between the Rays and Astros last season, the fewest games he has played in four full seasons in the majors.
Huff is one of only 10 players to hit at least 25 doubles and 20 homers in each of the last five seasons (2002-06), along with Lance Berkman, Carlos Delgado, Carlos Lee, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Miguel Tejada and Vernon Wells. He also is one of 17 players to hit at least 20 homers in each of the last five seasons.
Huff hit .250 with 13 homers and 38 RBI in 50 games after joining the Astros, splitting his time between third base and right field, before declaring free agency following the season.
Despite missing 21 games while on the disabled list last season with Tampa Bay, Huff has averaged 92 RBI over the last four seasons, twice driving in over 100 runs for the Devil Rays. He had career highs of 34 homers and 107 RBI in 2003, when he batted .311, and was one of only two players to rank among the top 10 in the American League in all three Triple Crown categories, along with Toronto's Vernon Wells.
Huff played in 649 of 688 games for Tampa Bay after arriving permanently in the majors in May 2002, including a string of 398 straight games. A left knee strain sent him to the disabled list for the first time in his career last year.
He was one of only five left-handed hitters to average 100 or more RBI over a three-year span from 2003-05, along with David Ortiz, Carlos Delgado, Hideki Matsui and Bobby Abreu, averaging 101 RBI, 25 homers and a .290 batting average over that time.
Huff is Tampa Bay's all-time leader in games, at bats, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, extra-base hits and RBI. He was particularly tough on the Orioles, batting .299 with 20 homers and 63 RBI, more than against any other opponent.
In his career, he has played 312 games at third base, 245 in the outfield, 152 at first base and has served as designated hitter in 176 games.