Brewers preparing offer to re-sign Craig Counsell

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General manager Doug Melvin said yesterday that the Brewers will make an effort to re-sign Craig Counsell and plan to send his agent a contract proposal during next week’s winter meetings.
Last offseason Milwaukee declined a $3.4 million option on Counsell and then re-signed him for just $1 million, but the 39-year-old is reportedly drawing significantly more interest this time around after hitting .285/.357/.408 in 130 games for his highest OPS since 2000.
Counsell has spent four of the past six seasons in Milwaukee after going to high school there and seems unlikely to land an everyday job elsewhere, so returning to the Brewers as an oft-used utility man will probably appeal to him quite a bit.
Alex Cora and the Mets seemingly set the going rate for veteran backup infielders with a one-year deal for $2 million with a vesting option for 2011, but Counsell is a better defender and significantly better hitter. Barring a multi-year deal, something like $3 million seems about right.

Dan Haren plans to retire after the playoffs are over

Dan Haren
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Dan Haren, who said two months ago that he was leaning toward retiring after the season, reiterated those plans following the Cubs’ regular season finale Sunday.

At age 34 he started 32 games for the Marlins and Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and 132/38 K/BB ratio in 187 innings, so Haren would have no problem finding work and a solid paycheck for 2016.

However, he’s not expected to part of the Cubs’ playoff roster and told Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:

That was it for me. If I have to pitch in the postseason, I’ll be ready for sure. Happy the way the last few starts have gone. Being able to contribute to this amazing team. I’m just thankful to be a part of it. If I don’t pitch in the postseason, that’s it. It’s been fun. Hopefully there’s a lot more games to go. … If my name is called, I’ll be ready.

Injuries has lessened Haren’s overall effectiveness in recent years, but he’s remained a solid mid-rotation starter and has pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues with a 3.75 ERA in 2,419 innings. He made three All-Star teams and earned more than $80 million.

Supreme Court rejects San Jose’s appeal in the A’s case

The judge's gavel is seen in court room 422 of the New York Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Chip East
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The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the city of San Jose arising out of the failure of the city’s antitrust claims against Major League Baseball. The lower court losses which frustrated the city’s lawsuit will stay in place.

By way of background, San Jose sued Major League Baseball in June 2013 for conspiring to block the A’s relocation there on the basis of the San Francisco Giants’ territorial claim. The city said the territory rules violated federal antitrust laws. As I wrote at the time, it was a theoretically righteous argument in a very narrow sense, but that the City of San Jose likely did not have any sort of legal standing to assert the claim for various reasons and that its suit would be unsuccessful.

And now it is.


If there is ever to be a righteous legal challenge of the territorial system, it’ll almost certainly have to come from a club itself. Given the way in which MLB vets its new owners, however, and given how much money these guys rake in, in part, because of the territorial system, its unlikely that that will ever happen.