Craig Counsell Rumors

Brewers Rumors: Marcum, Betancourt, Weeks

The Brewers are going to be a different looking team in 2011. GM Doug Melvin appears to have improved his starting rotation significantly with a pair of major trades. Here's the latest on what remains for the Brewers between now and Opening Day…

Brewers Re-Sign Craig Counsell

Craig Counsell is returning to Milwaukee for another season, the Brewers announced today. The 15-year veteran will earn $1.4MM in his sixth campaign with the Brewers. Agent Barry Meister represents Counsell.

Counsell, 40, hit .250/.322/.319 in 230 plate appearances this year while appearing at shortstop, third base, and second base. He has appeared in 100 or more games in each of the past seven seasons.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the agreement and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel added the terms of the deal on Twitter.

Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.

Odds & Ends: Counsell, Ibanez, Johnson, Sheffield

Exactly one year ago, the Angels signed Hideki Matsui. Today, the slugger finalized his one-year agreement with the A's. Here are today's links…

Overnight Links: Lee, Brewers, Tigers, Varitek, Parra

Here's some late night odds and ends for the night owls who are still up and running, or early birds who are just rising:

Brewers Rumors: Weeks, Capuano, Francis, Webb

The Brewers have had some trade discussions about Prince Fielder, and inquired on Matt Garza. Here are the rest of the details on the Crew:

  • The Brewers had "productive" talks with Rickie Weeks' representatives about a potential extension, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Assistant GM Gord Ash says the sides have "reason to continue to talk" to Weeks, who can become a free agent after the 2011 season.
  • GM Doug Melvin told Haudricourt that he intends to meet with the agent for Craig Counsell and work a deal out soon. The Brewers have made the veteran infielder more than one proposal. 
  • The Brewers have another offer out to Chris Capuano and are waiting to hear from him. 
  • Manager Ron Roenicke says the team would like to pair Jonathan Lucroy with a veteran catcher next year, according to Haudricourt (Twitter link).
  • The Brewers seem hesitant to commit to a pitcher coming back from an injury, according to's Adam McCalvy.
  • Melvin says the Brewers haven't called the agent for Jeff Francis, though they've been linked to the left-hander repeatedly. The team scouted Brandon Webb, but their level of interest in the former Cy Young Award winner seems low.
  • The Brewers have had discussions with the Braves, but Melvin says he doesn't have any ongoing talks with Atlanta.

Brewers, Braves Pushing For Eric Hinske

TUESDAY, 11:46am: The Brewers made an offer to Hinske, GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  Melvin said he also has offers out to Craig Counsell and Chris Capuano.

MONDAY, 11:26am: The Brewers and Braves are making early pushes for outfielder/first baseman Eric Hinske, tweets Tim Brown of Yahoo.  On Friday,'s Mark Bowman reported that the Braves made a one-year offer in the $1.5MM range in hopes of retaining Hinske.  Interest is mutual, but Hinske wants a two-year deal.

Hinske, 33, hit .256/.338/.456 with 11 home runs in 320 plate appearances this year.  He logged innings at left field and first base, and has also played right field and third base in his career.  He's a left-handed hitter who has been shielded from southpaws by his managers in recent years.  Given recent contracts given to Geoff Blum and Ross Gload, Hinske has a case for two years.

Odds & Ends: Beltre, Counsell, Greinke, Kuroda

Thursday night linkage..

Brewers Notes: Bush, Capuano, Counsell, Dillard

The Brewers introduced new manager Ron Roenicke at a press conference on Thursday, and GM Doug Melvin spoke to the media about the upcoming free agent period afterwards. Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel fills us in on the details…

  • Melvin told right-hander Dave Bush that "he should test the market." Bush didn't take it as a sign that the team will not attempt to re-sign him however, he told Haudricourt that Melvin encouraged him to explore the market since it's his first time as a free agent.
  • Melvin indicated that he had calls into the agents for Chris Capuano and Craig Counsell, and that it's possible he'll make them offers before other teams can jump in.
  • There has been no indication that the team will try to bring Trevor Hoffman, Doug Davis, and/or Gregg Zaun back. The Brewers recently declined the club options for all three players.
  •'s Adam McCalvy reports that Milwaukee has re-signed right-hander Tim Dillard to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. The 27 year old spent the season in Triple-A working on a new sidearm delivery. 

Odds & Ends: Cubs, Towers, Phillies, Torre, Lee

Tuesday night links, as Scott Baker makes his first start for the Twins in nearly three weeks….

  • Jim Hendry will officially interview Ryne Sandberg for the Cubs' manager job, reports Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago. According to Levine's sources, the club also plans to talk to Pat Listach, Bob Melvin, and Bob Brenly.
  • A "reliable source" told Jim Bowden (Twitter link) that the D'Backs are set to offer Kevin Towers their GM job. Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona says no job offer has been made yet, though the team met with Towers again today (Twitter link).
  • Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly reports (via Twitter) that the Phillies have signed Franklyn Zavala, a 16-year-old Dominican pitcher, for a $330K bonus.
  • Understandably, Joe Torre's comments about the possibility of managing the Mets didn't sit well with current manager Jerry Manuel, as Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger writes. Torre apologized for his comments, telling Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he's "closing the door on managing the Mets – and probably everybody else" (Twitter links).
  • Astros manager Brad Mills avoided the question of whether Carlos Lee would play more first base in 2011, says's Pete Kerzel. Alyson Footer, the team's director of social media, notes in a pair of tweets that first base is Lee's strongest position and she'd like to see him there next year.
  • Pat Gillick won't rule out taking another general manager job if the right situation arises, writes Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
  • Craig Counsell tells Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link) that he'll be back in 2011, either for the Brewers or another club.

Market For Craig Counsell

Brewers infielder Craig Counsell recently cleared waivers, suggesting no team was willing to take on the prorated portion of his $2.3MM salary (currently $600K).  Counsell can now be traded to any team, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Brewers seek "a legit return."  Rosenthal notes that the Brewers received Chris Dickerson for Jim Edmonds, though I'll point out that Edmonds was having a stronger season at a lower salary and did get claimed on waivers by multiple clubs.  In terms of the Counsell market, Rosenthal says the Cardinals inquired and backed off while the Braves have yet to inquire.

Counsell, 40 in a few days, is hitting .246/.317/.305 in 188 plate appearances this season.  He's mostly played on the left side of the infield this year, but has plenty of career experience at second base.  Counsell has had a disappointing season, though it seems to amount to a dip in playing time and batting average.  He's not a clear upgrade for a contender, so he could stay put unless the asking price drops in the 15 days leading up to the waiver trade deadline.