Hot market for Counsell?

The window for teams to exclusively negotiate with their own free agents doesn’t expire until Friday, but according to one observer that’s not stopping as many as a dozen clubs from showing interest in veteran Brewers infielder Craig Counsell.’s Buster Olney “tweeted” this on Monday without specifying a source: “Craig Counsell has attracted interest from 12 teams. Possible he will leave Milw. for a multi-year deal. Possible fits: NYY, Boston.”

It’s against Major League rules for teams to negotiate with representatives for players who aren’t their own during a 15-day window following the World Series, but there is no rule against team’s simply checking in to express general interest.

Counsell would fit almost anywhere based on his proficiency at second base, third base and shortstop. He turned 39 in August but enjoyed his best season since he helped the Arizona Diamondbacks win the 2001 World Series, batting .285 for the Brewers in 2009 with 34 extra-base hits, a .357 on-base percentage and a .408 slugging percentage. Counsell also went 5-for-16 as a pinch-hitter

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin wouldn’t say last week which of Milwaukee’s nine free agents the team was working to bring back, but Counsell certainly would fit. He could pair with versatile right-handed hitter Adam Heether, who was added last week to the Brewers’ 40-man roster, as a left-right pair of reserve infielders in 2010.

Counsell earned $1 million last season on a one-year contract.


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