Counsell May Sign By Monday

Barry Meister, who represents free agent infielder Craig Counsell, told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that his client may have a deal finalized with the Brewers (or possibly another team) by Monday.  Milwaukee made an initial offer to the 39-year-old veteran on Dec. 4, and then reportedly upped it yesterday.  The conventional wisdom has been that Counsell will re-sign with the Brewers, given that he lives in the Milwaukee area and that both the player and team have seemed eager to work out a deal.  No dollar amounts have been mentioned, but it would surely be a raise from the one-year/$1MM contract that Counsell received from the Brewers last winter.  Despite Counsell's age, the offer may also be for more than one year in length.

Counsell has spent the last three seasons in Milwaukee and also played for the Brewers in 2004.  He hit .285/.357/.408 over 459 plate appearances in 2009, notching a career-high in OPS for a season in which he had more than 189 PAs.  Solid numbers aside, Counsell's value to the Brewers in 2010 will be to provide veteran leadership backing up the club's young infield corps of Mat Gamel, Alcides Escobar and Casey McGehee.

Should the talks between Counsell and the Brewers fall apart at the eleventh hour, we know that the Reds and Dodgers have also shown interest in the veteran utilityman.



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