Craig Counsell’s Surprising Move to the Cubs
Reports have emerged that in late October, Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations, Jed Hoyer, floated the possibility to chairman Tom Ricketts of pursuing Craig Counsell, a manager from the Milwaukee Brewers. This big, risky idea would require a massive investment and an objective assessment of the situation, especially given that the Cubs already had a manager, David Ross, who was closely tied to the team’s 2016 World Series victory.
Although there were concerns that reaching out to the Brewers for permission to interview Counsell would undermine Ross and shift even more leverage toward Counsell, Hoyer held off until Counsell’s contract expired before contacting him.
After a five-day whirlwind of meetings and negotiations, a five-year, $40 million contract was finalized with Counsell, despite competition from other teams such as the New York Mets, Cleveland Guardians, and of course, the Brewers. However, this decision did not come without its repercussions, as Counsell underestimated how much his departure from the Brewers would anger their fans.
This significant and surprising decision by the Cubs marks an important chapter in their history, as chairman Tom Ricketts has shown a willingness to take big risks and make substantial investments in talent. Ricketts’ commitment to this approach is evident in the fact that he authorized the expansion of the Cubs’ front office in order to bring in top-tier talent, thus paving the way for recent historic achievements.
With the arrival of Counsell, change is evident, and the Cubs are poised to continue reshaping their roster to aim for the pinnacle of the baseball world. If this sends out any message, it is that the status quo is not an option.