Craig Counsell Rumors

Morosi On Lincecum, Cameron, Renteria, Carroll

The Giants need to bolster their offense, so Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports suggests trading Tim Lincecum for multiple players is a viable option. Trading the two-time Cy Young Award winner might allow San Francisco to free up the payroll required to pursue a top free agent position player such as Prince Fielder or Jose Reyes. Here are some more notes from Morosi…

  • Mike Cameron, Tim Wakefield, Edgar Renteria and Craig Counsell intend to play in 2012.
  • Jon Garland might throw for teams this offseason if there’s demand, according to Morosi. The right-hander missed most of the season recovering from shoulder surgery and the Dodgers declined their 2012 option on the 32-year-old. Garland intends to continue as a starter.
  • Some teams view Jamey Carroll as an everyday second baseman. I’m not surprised to hear that since Carroll has repeatedly proven his ability to get on base and many teams will be in the market for second basemen.
  • Former Orioles right-hander Daniel Cabrera is pitching in the Dominican Winter League after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Agent Mike Powers told Morosi that Cabrera intends to return to MLB as a starter. The 6'7" right-hander hasn't appeared in a Major League game since 2009.
  • For more thoughts on Lincecum and the Giants, check out the piece Dave Cameron wrote yesterday at FanGraphs.

Melvin On Brewers’ Offseason

The Brewers’ season is over and while GM Doug Melvin wishes his club were in the World Series, he’s proud of its accomplishments. "There's just too many good things that happened this year for me to be hanging my head,” he said, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Here are more details from today’s press conference via Haudricourt:

  • Melvin and Brewers owner Mark Attanasio will meet in early November to discuss what kind of offer they can make free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
  • The Brewers aren’t concerned about Shaun Marcum’s health, though the right-hander struggled in the postseason.
  • Melvin said Yuniesky Betancourt was “a better player than what his critics said.” The Brewers have a $6MM option ($2MM buyout) for the shortstop in 2012 and Melvin declined to say whether they'll pick it up.
  • Melvin explained that he would like to improve defensively without sacrificing on offense.
  • He said the Brewers will seriously consider giving Mat Gamel a chance to make an impact in the Major Leagues if an opportunity emerges (i.e. Fielder signs elsewhere).
  • The Brewers haven’t talked about moving Corey Hart to first base.
  • Melvin said he’ll check in with free agents LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito. Francisco Rodriguez is likely to sign elsewhere, probably as a closer.
  • Melvin said Casey McGehee can still be a good player, despite his disappointing 2011 campaign.
  • Craig Counsell hasn’t told the Brewers whether he intends to play again next year, but it sounds as though Melvin would have some interest in re-signing him. Melvin also expects to speak to Jerry Hairston Jr. and his representative.
  • Mitch Stetter, Manny Parra and Josh Wilson are non-tender candidates, as MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained this week.

Oldest Current MLB Players

Generally speaking, young players tend to have athleticism, upside and a salary right around the MLB minimum. It’s no wonder that teams tend to gravitate to those players when constructing their rosters. There’s not much demand for aging, positionless sluggers in this era, yet a small group of older players are contributing to winning teams. In honor of Jason Giambi’s three-homer game, here’s a comprehensive list of every 40-plus player to don an MLB uniform in 2011:

  • Tim Wakefield (44) – The knuckleballer is once again a member of Boston's rotation. He has a 5.40 ERA with 4.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 23 1/3 innings this year.
  • Omar Vizquel (44) – The active leader in games played is showing few signs of age. Vizquel isn't on this list for his bat, but his .327/.358/.388 line is excellent. The 11-time Gold Glove winner has played second, short and third this year.
  • Matt Stairs (43) – Stairs, who figures to DH in interleague play this weekend, needs to turn his season around. The New Brunswick native has just two hits and six walks in 28 plate appearances. Give Stairs credit for staying in the majors this long; Bryce Harper wasn’t even born when Stairs made his MLB debut with the ’92 Expos.
  • Takashi Saito (41) – Before hitting the disabled list with a left hamstring injury, Saito appeared in just two games for the Brewers.
  • Mariano Rivera (41) – How is Rivera this effective at 41? He leads the league in saves (13) and has a 1.80 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9. His average fastball still checks in at over 91 mph.
  • Arthur Rhodes (41) – Rhodes hasn't quite matched his 2010 performance so far, but a 3.97 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 isn't bad at any age.
  • Craig Counsell (40) – The 16-year veteran has a .234/.321/.255 line in 55 plate appearances at second, third, short and left field. Consider that the average MLB shortstop has a .254/.312/.361 line and Counsell's numbers look a little better.
  • Jason Giambi (40) – Giambi has an unusual .194/.306/.581 line after his three-homer game.
  • Miguel Batista (40) – Batista has a 1.69 ERA through 16 innings despite having an equal number of walks and strikeouts (9).
  • Darren Oliver (40) – Oliver has a 2.95 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 1.0 BB/9 in 18 1/3 innings of relief. He and Rhodes provide the Rangers with a pair of dependable lefty relievers.
  • Jim Thome (40) – After a tremendous 2010 season, Thome's numbers have fallen off and he has spent time on the disabled list. He hit a pair of homers and posted a .214/.333/.375 line before hitting the DL with an oblique strain.


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 MLB.com'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, MLB.com'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..