Brewers make second proposal to Kolb

Brewers make second proposal to Kolb

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers made a second proposal to free agent reliever Dan Kolb on Thursday and expect to receive a counteroffer from agent Scott Boras early Friday.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said he faxed an updated offer to Boras' office early in the day on Thursday, but would not divulge the terms of what is likely a one-year, incentive-laden proposal. He and Boras spoke briefly in the evening.

Even if both sides were to agree to terms on Friday, an official announcement would not likely come until after the holiday weekend. Kolb would have to undergo a physical before any deal is finalized.

Melvin is leaving for a vacation on Friday night and will be out of the country until Jan. 3. Kolb did not return a phone call on Thursday seeking comment.

Milwaukee acquired Kolb during the Winter Meetings, but the reliever was eligible for salary arbitration, and baseball rules stipulate that teams cannot cut a player's salary by more than 20 percent. Kolb earned $3.4 million from Atlanta last season, and had the Brewers tendered a contract before Tuesday's deadline, they would have had to pay him at least $2.7 million.

Instead, as expected, the Brewers nontendered Kolb, making him a free agent. Now they can re-sign him at any amount, but must compete with the 29 other teams for his services.

Originally acquired by the Brewers as a Minor League free agent in 2003, Kolb notched 60 saves in a season and a half in Milwaukee, including a franchise-record 39 saves in 2004, when he was a National League All-Star. But he was traded to Atlanta following the season, when Melvin was faced with a chance to acquire Jose Capellan, Atlanta's top pitching prospect at the time.

In Atlanta, Kolb replaced John Smoltz as the Braves closer and went 3-8 with a 5.93 ERA, converting just 11 of 18 save opportunities. Milwaukee re-acquired Kolb's rights earlier this month for right-hander Wes Obermueller.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.