The Milwaukee Brewers provide an ideal environment for hometown favorite Craig Counsell, who agreed to terms for another season on Monday.
12/16/2009 1:01 PM ET
Counsell finds hometown fit
Veteran will provide leadership for Brewers youngsters
"I think I fit perfectly on the team, and they seem to feel that way, too," Counsell, who grew up in Whitefish Bay, Wis., told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Counsell played in 130 games for the Brewers last season, including a total of 90 starts, splitting time at third base, shortstop and second base. He hit .285 with four home runs and 39 RBIs. With youngsters Casey McGehee at third base, Alcides Escobar at shortstop and Rickie Weeks, who is recovering from a wrist injury, at second, the veteran Counsell provides insurance at all three of those positions.
"That's why I feel good about the situation," Counsell said. "All of those guys hit right-handed and I hit left-handed. As I found out last season, there should be some opportunities at some point to play."
Pierre ready and rested: Juan Pierre, acquired by the White Sox, feels well rested after spending the last two seasons as a not-quite-regular with the Dodgers.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to play again," Pierre told the Los Angeles Times.
"If I'm healthy, I want to be out there," Pierre said. "I've had two years of storage. My legs have saved up for a couple of years. If they ask me if I want to play, I'm going to say, 'Yes.' I've been in the witness protection program for the last two years."
Matsui signs one-year deal with Angels: The World Series MVP is taking his bat to the West Coast.
Hideki Matsui, who hit 28 home runs and had 78 RBIs for the Yankees in 2009 before starring in the Series, will become the Angels' designated hitter.
"He's an experienced hitter who can hit in the middle of any lineup," manager Mike Scioscia told the Los Angeles Times. "He's a unique talent that overcame some serious injuries early to have an incredible season."
Figgins comes through with promise to mom: New Mariners third baseman Chone Figgins' introductory news conference entourage included his mother, Eva Callins, who lauded her son for fulfilling his promise to take care of his family.
"He's always said that, since when he was small," Callins told the Seattle Times. "First he was going to become a professional baseball player, and then he was going to do that. He was going to build us this huge house. And he did."
Figgins' mom coined the phrase, "Get Figgy With It" to describe her son's play on the basepaths. Now Figgins has started the "Get Figgy With It" charity to build baseball fields in Tampa, Fla., and Seattle. His mother will be the charity's chairperson.
Capps finds plenty of teams interested: After being declined arbitration by the Pirates, Matt Capps is finding plenty of suitors as a free agent.
"Seems like I keep getting a new text about another team all the time," Capps told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Whatever happens, I'll keep the Pirates in my thoughts, and I'm not closing the door on them or anybody else. But I'm going to do what's best for my family and my career, and it's nice to know there are a lot of teams asking."
Millwood ready to meet new teammates: Kevin Millwood is looking forward to meeting his new teammates on the Orioles.
"Actually, I don't really know many people on the Orioles team right now," Millwood told MLB.com. "I know them from playing against them, but I don't know that we've ever sat down and had a conversation. I know there's quite a few guys there that are really good players, and they're only to get better. They'll be exciting to play with."
Zumaya could become Tigers closer in 2010: Joel Zumaya is in a position to play a prominent role in the Tigers bullpen.
"If he's healthy and he remains healthy, the answer to that is yes," Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski told MLB.com when asked whether Zumaya has a chance at the closer's job. "But he has to do that. He's got enough experience at this time. He's been around long enough. We all know he has good enough stuff. He hasn't pitched the ninth inning on a regular basis by any means, but do I think he has a chance to do it? Yes."
Michaels signs one-year deal with Astros: The Astros and Jason Michaels agreed to a one-year contract on Monday, giving the team its fourth outfielder and a right-handed hitter off the bench.
"He was in the Minor Leagues when I was in Philadelphia, and he was highly thought of," new manager Brad Mills told the Houston Chronicle of Michaels. "His reputation in baseball is very solid as being a very solid clubhouse presence and a solid player."
Michaels hit .237 with four home runs and 16 RBIs last season. The right-hander is able to play all three outfield spots as well; he started games in left, center and right last season.
Wolf prepared to make winning a priority in Milwaukee: Last year, Randy Wolf was close to agreeing to a three-year contract with the Astros before the deal was pulled off the table at the last minute. Wolf now has his three-year deal with the Brewers.
"From Day 1, they made it very clear to me that I was their priority this offseason," Wolf, who pitched for the Dodgers in 2009, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Not only was I a priority, but winning is important to them, and that's very important to me. As a free agent, you want a team that desires you and thinks you can help that team win.
"This organization is making a huge effort to win. Every fifth day I'm going to be doing everything I can to help this team win. They made it obvious they wanted me here, and that feeling is mutual."
Bass moving on from Baltimore: Brian Bass is ready to move on from the Baltimore Orioles.
"I had a good time in Baltimore," Bass told MLB.com. "It's a good clubhouse with a bunch of good guys. It's a sad day when a team calls and says they don't want you any more. But we'll move on and see what happens."
-- Red Line Editorial