Nobody saw this one coming, it’s safe to say. While it’s not unexpected that Craig Counsell found a new home on Monday afternoon, learning that he’ll be the new manager of the Chicago Cubs was. The majority of baseball was unaware that the Cubs were looking for a new manager. Even David Ross might have been unaware.
The former Cincinnati Reds catcher had managed the Cubs for the previous four seasons, but with the exception of a brief escape during the shortened 2020 postseason, Ross had never led the team to the MLB Playoffs.
Most experts predicted that Craig Counsell would either join his old boss in New York or return to his local team in Milwaukee. Counsell, on the other hand, who was thought to be attempting to reset the market for managers, followed the money.
According to The Athletics’ Ken Rosenthal, Counsell signed a five-year, $40 million contract to become the league’s highest-paid manager.
The Cubs are confident that Counsell can lead them to the NL Central title and help the team return to the postseason. During his nine years as the Brewers’ manager, Counsell’s clubs are 7-12 in five playoff trips, including three NL Central Division Championships.
Unfortunately, the Cincinnati Reds were unable to sign Craig Counsell to a contract with another team outside of the NL Central and will instead be seeing the new Cubs’ manager on a regular basis.
Earlier this season, the Reds re-signed David Bell to a three-year contract agreement. Cincinnati’s manager is 333-375 (.470) entering Year 6 and may have his greatest opportunity yet to lead the Reds to the MLB playoffs.