JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Brad Ausmus didn’t stay unemployed for long.

The Gold Glove catcher, who retired from active play last month after completing his 18th year in the Majors, is joining the San Diego Padres as a Special Assistant to Baseball Operations.

Ausmus, 41, has long been considered future manager material. During his final years as a player he often tutored younger catchers. The Los Angeles Dodgers allowed him to sit in for manager Joe Torre in one of the team’s final 2010 games. “There’s no question he can manage,” Torre said in 2009. “He’s a smart cookie, everybody knows that, and he has an engaging personality.”

Until now, precisely which team might hire him was an open question. Los Angeles? Ausmus did end his career with the Dodgers. Houston? The Cheshire, Conn., native spent more years with the Astros (10) than any other MLB team, and he won three Gold Gloves — as well as the hearts of many Houstonians — while playing there.

But Ausmus instead will go to San Diego, where his major-league career began. Selected by the New York Yankees in the 48th round of the 1987 amateur draft (1,151st overall), Ausmus labored in the Yanks’ farm system until the Colorado Rockies selected him in the 1992 expansion draft. The following year he was traded to the Padres, where he made his MLB debut two days later.

Ausmus played in San Diego until June 1996, when he was traded to the Detroit Tigers. Three years later, he was voted an All-Star for the first and only time.

Known as a defensive specialist and excellent game-caller, the Dartmouth College recruit ended his MLB career with a total of 80 HRs, 607 RBIs, .251 batting average, and .325 on-base percentage. He caught more games than all but 6 other catchers in major-league history.

San Diego did not say who Ausmus will report to. According to the Padres’ front-office directory, Josh Stein is the Director of Baseball Operations.