Padres eyeing Graffanino, not Counsell

Padres eyeing Graffanino, not Counsell

The Padres have denied a published report that they are about to sign free-agent infielder Craig Counsell to a two-year contract, and they are believed to be pursuing another free agent, Tony Graffanino, to play second base.

The Padres are attempting to replace Josh Barfield, dealt to Cleveland for third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and pitcher Andrew Brown.

Dividing his time between Kansas City and Milwaukee in 2006, Graffanino, 34, batted .274 in 129 games with a .345 on-base percentage. A versatile right-handed hitter, he is a career .269 hitter in 888 games across 11 seasons with six teams.

The Padres also submitted a bid reportedly in excess of $10 million Monday for negotiating rights to Japanese left-hander Kei Igawa, hoping to add him to their starting rotation. But the rights to the 27-year-old Igawa were won by the New York Yankees.

Igawa was the second Japanese player pursued by the Padres this month. Rights to negotiate with third baseman Akinori Iwamura were won by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.