Clearly this is not the flashiest move of the week, but it is still very important. Word on the street is that the Brewers have agreed to a one year $1.4 million dollar deal with the 40 year old utility man. This will be the 5th consecutive year we see Counsell on the Brewers roster, but the 6th time overall.
The truth is, I could really not care less. Look, Craig is a great clubhouse guy and he is very versatile as a fielder. After the weekend we just had, it strikes me as kind of strange that he chose now to make his return. We have been waiting for a decision from him for the past two and a half weeks. Am I the only one who thinks it is peculiar that he has now decided to come back? Was he really entertaining offers from other ball clubs? Doubtful. Of course he wants to come back now, we are contenders!! The fact is, he knew that if he came back he would be a minimal contributor to the ball club. It is much easier to swallow a secondary role on a playoff team, then on a sub-par pitching experiment gone wrong (see Hoffman, Davis, Suppan, and Looper).
I have nothing against Craig Counsell, in fact I think he is one of the nicest guys on this earth. That does not mean that I need to be excited about his return to the Brewers clubhouse. He will be primarily used in pinch hitting situations and fielding substitutions. Craig does provide us a safety net should we suffer an injury (or meltdown) by any of our infielders, so for that I am thankful.
As the new resident “old guy” I’m sure he will do a great job of mentoring some of the young guys, but is that really worth $1.4 million? Why not add him to the coaching staff instead? Seriously, I think that Counsell would be a great fielding coach. Probably not the best hitting coach though, since for the first 14 years of his career I wasn’t sure if he was batting or trying to get struck by lightning. I think adding him to the coaching staff going into next year might be a terrific idea, but having him in the field just does not inspire any excitement in my soul.
For what it’s worth, welcome back Craig. You mean a lot to the city and state that I love so well. Who knows, you could finally be the lucky charm for us that you were for the D’Backs and Marlins. I will leave you with this quote from Counsell;
"“I think it’s pretty easy to say, going into spring training, this is the best team the Brewers have had since I’ve ben here. It’s definitely exciting. They’ve made a big commitment. It’s a great time to be a Brewer.”"
It most certainly is Craig, it most certainly is.