Brewers sign IF Counsell to two-year deal

Nov 29, 2006 - 5:43 PM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) - The Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday signed infielder Craig Counsell to a two-year contract with a club option for 2009.

Counsell, 36, batted .255 with four home runs, 30 RBI and 15 stolen bases last season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The veteran utility man returns for his second stint in Milwaukee, where he played in 2004.

"The Brewers are glad to have Craig back," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "He has always exemplified the true professional in how he prepares and plays the game."

Counsell spent most of last season at shortstop for the Diamondbacks but has also seen sufficient time at second base and third base over the course of his career. He figures to serve as a backup in Milwaukee behind second baseman Rickie Weeks and shortstop J.J. Hardy, both of whom look to bounce back from season-ending injuries.

"(Counsell's) ability to play all infield positions will be extremely valuable," Melvin said. "Craig also brings a contact approach to hitting and has always been a fundamentally sound player."

A member of two World Series championship clubs, Counsell is a career .260 hitter with 31 homers, 283 RBI and 90 stolen bases in 10-plus seasons with Arizona, Milwaukee, Florida, Colorado and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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