Source: Brewers claim Pirates IF

luis cruz.jpgA baseball source told MLB.com’s Jennifer Langosch that the Brewers claimed infielder Luis Cruz off waivers from the Pirates on Monday. Cruz could provide a bit of insurance for the Brewers against the departure of versatile free agent Craig Counsell

Cruz, 25, appeared sparingly for the Pirates in each of the past two years, batting .219 as a shortstop and a second baseman. He’s a .250 hitter over parts of nine Minor League seasons in the Red Sox, Padres and Pirates chains, topping-out with 12 home runs and 65 RBIs at Double-A Mobile (Padres) in 2006.

The Pirates placed Cruz on waivers on Saturday to clear a spot on their full 40-man roster ahead of Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft. 

Counsell, though, remains a top target of the Brewers. General manager Doug Melvin submitted a contract offer to agent Barry Meister ahead of this week’s Winter Meetings and planned to meet face-to-face in Indianapolis. The Brewers are particularly focused on having depth on the infield behind injury-prone second baseman Rickie Weeks, rookie shortstop Alcides Escobar and somewhat-unproven third baseman Casey McGehee.

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