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12/08/08 5:35 PM EST

Lamb likely to return to Brewers' flock

Milwaukee nearing deal to re-sign free agent third baseman

LAS VEGAS -- The Brewers were closing in on a deal to re-sign free agent third baseman Mike Lamb on a busy Day 1 at the Winter Meetings.

Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said that he planned to touch base later in the day with Lamb's agent, Sam Levinson, to continue discussions. Lamb, 33, finished the 2008 regular season with Milwaukee after he was released by the Twins five months into a two-year contract.

Lamb hit .273 (3-for-11) in his brief stint as a Brewer and was not eligible for the postseason roster because Milwaukee didn't acquire him until Sept. 5. If he returned for a full season, Lamb likely would split time at third base with right-handed hitter Bill Hall and would allow the Brewers to be more patient with top hitting prospect Mat Gamel, who, like Lamb, bats lefty.

A .277 career hitter in parts of nine seasons with the Rangers, Astros, Twins and Brewers, Lamb's best years were in Houston, including a 14-homer, 58-RBI 2004 season and a 2006 in which he batted a career-high .307. Melvin was the Rangers' GM when Texas took Lamb in the seventh round of the 1997 Draft.

The Brewers were active on Day 1 at the Bellagio. They avoided a potential arbitration hearing by agreeing to terms with reliever Todd Coffey before traveling a few blocks to the Wynn Hotel for a meeting with representatives for free agent starter CC Sabathia.

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