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Crosby still in the mix as he attempts comeback


PHOENIX -- The Brewers look set at shortstop, but comeback candidate Bobby Crosby still has a chance to win an Opening Day roster spot, manager Ron Roenicke said.

Crosby, the 2004 American League Rookie of the Year, signed a Minor League deal with the Brewers on Jan. 22, when the Brewers were still seeking a backup to 23-year-old shortstop Jean Segura. But a week later, the team re-signed Alex Gonzalez, last year's Opening Day starter, who, barring an issue with his surgically-repaired right knee, is this year's presumptive backup.

With Gonzalez in the fold, Crosby will play all around the infield this spring and compete for a job as a utility man.

"There's still a job there," Roenicke said. "I'll talk to him and see where his comfort level is and what he can do. I think he knows at this time in his career that somebody's not just going to give him an everyday shortstop job. He's going to need to move around."

Crosby, 33, originally broke out with the A's, but has not played in the Majors since a 70-game stint with the D-backs and Pirates in 2010. He has battled back injuries through his career and did not play at all in '11 or '12.

Crosby's agent, Paul Cohen, also represented Gabe Kapler and Jim Edmonds, each of whom mounted successful comebacks with the Brewers in recent seasons.

"[Crosby] was certainly a good-looking player, and then he started having the back issues, and you stopped seeing the production he had when he first came to the big leagues," said Roenicke, who was with the Angels throughout Crosby's years with the A's. "But this is a really good player if he's healthy. I think health is a big question mark that has nagged at him. I don't know how many years that he tried to play with injuries."

Crosby would get a $800,000 base salary in the Majors and could earn $450,000 more in incentives; $25,000 each for 25 and 40 games played, $50,000 each for 60 and 80 games played, $50,000 each for 30 and 50 starts and $100,000 apiece for 70 and 90 starts.

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