Counsell, Mota file for free agency

Counsell, Mota file for free agency

MILWAUKEE -- Infielder Craig Counsell and reliever Guillermo Mota joined the list of Brewers to formally file for free agency on Monday.

Counsell became eligible last week when the Brewers declined his $3.4 million option for 2009, while Mota is coming off a two-year contract he signed with the Mets prior to the 2007 season.

Hot Stove
The Brewers acquired Mota from New York in November 2007 for Johnny Estrada in a swap of players in need of a fresh start, and it proved a good deal for Milwaukee. Mota posted a 4.11 ERA in 58 relief outings and was excellent down the stretch, with a 1.57 ERA over his final 25 games. Whether the Brewers are among the teams seeking his services this offseason could depend on whether the team exercises a $3.75 million option for Salomon Torres.

The team made it clear last week that it would make a play for Counsell, hoping to sign the 38-year-old Milwaukee-area resident at a lower salary. Counsell did not return a phone call asking for his level of interest in such an arrangement.

In 110 games including 60 starts, Counsell batted .226 with a .355 on-base percentage. He was the primary backup this season for shortstop J.J. Hardy but emerged later in the year as a platoon option at third base alongside right-handed hitter Bill Hall. Counsell hits left-handed.

All of the Brewers' eligible Major League free agents have now filed papers with the Players Association: pitchers Eric Gagne, Mota, CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets and Brian Shouse, infielders Russell Branyan, Counsell, Ray Durham and Mike Lamb and outfielder Gabe Kapler. If the Brewers decline Torres' option, he could also join the list.

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