Report: Brewers have deal for Counsell

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According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Brewers have a tentative agreement in place to re-sign free agent infielder Craig Counsell.
The 39-year-old Counsell was believed to be seeking a two-year contract
this winter, but the length and terms of the new contract are not yet
known.




Counsell came out of nowhere in 2009
to provide his most productive season since 2005, batting
.285/.357/.408 with four home runs, 39 RBI and 61 runs scored in 130
games — again, his heaviest workload since the 2005 season. With the
wrist injury to Rickie Weeks, the slumping J.J. Hardy and the hot
corner in flux, Counsell made 44 starts at second base, 19 starts at
shortstop and 27 starts at third base.




If Counsell plays in 130 games again
next season, it will likely mean that something went very wrong in the
Milwaukee infield for a second straight season, but he’s fine insurance
as a utility man. Counsell reportedly received interest from upwards of
ten teams, and he probably could have started elsewhere (Reds?), but
there was little doubt that the Milwaukee-native would eventually
decide to return.

Miguel Sano suspended one game for altercation with Tigers

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Twins third baseman Miguel Sano has been suspended one game for his role in Saturday’s altercation with the Tigers, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Sano will appeal his suspension, so he’ll be eligible to play until that is resolved.

On Saturday, Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones was hit in the face by Twins pitcher Justin Haley. The Tigers’ Matt Boyd threw behind Sano when he came to the plate in the fifth inning, seemingly exacting revenge. Sano took exception, catcher James McCann pushed his glove into Sano’s face, and the benches emptied. Both Boyd and Sano were ejected from the game.

Sano has hit well in the early going, batting .241/.413/.569 with four home runs and 14 RBI with an MLB-best 17 walks in 75 plate appearances. Losing Sano for only one game won’t be the biggest deal for the Twins. Eduardo Escobar would get the start at third base to fill in for Sano if he loses his appeal.

Boyd was fined an undisclosed amount and not suspended, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck.

Matt Barnes suspended four games for throwing at Manny Machado

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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes has been suspended four games and fined an undisclosed amount for throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on Sunday. Barnes was exacting revenge for Machado’s slide which injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Friday, and was ejected immediately after throwing the pitch at Machado.

Barnes is appealing his suspension, so he will be able to participate in games until the issue is resolved. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.60 ERA and an 11/6 K/BB ratio in 10 innings so far this season.

The suspension is rather light considering Barnes’ intent. Barnes missed, thankfully, as he hit Machado’s bat rather than his helmet. Had he hit his intended target, though, baseball might’ve been out one superstar third baseman. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote today that Major League Baseball needs to beef up its punishment for players attempting to injure other players. And he’s totally right about that. The punishment is neither enough to deter players from attempting to injure their peers, nor is it enough for teams to deter their own players from doing so.