After nine seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, Craig Counsell was named the new manager of the Chicago Cubs Monday. Counsell’s contract with the Brewers expired at the end of the 2023 season, which led him to have conversations with different teams around the league. Ultimately, he landed him with the Cubs.
On Nov. 6, Chicago announced they were signing Counsell to a five-year contract worth $40 million. The deal is the biggest ever for a major league manager.
The #Cubs today named Craig Counsell the 56th manager in franchise history, agreeing to terms on a five-year contract through the 2028 season.
Welcome to Chicago, Craig! pic.twitter.com/M4SA6ywLA0
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 13, 2023
Counsell Ready for the Challenge
In his first press conference as manager Monday, Counsell made it clear he’s ready for the challenge and the pressure that comes with being the Cubs new manager. However, he also explained his excitement for the future of the team. He mentioned the momentum the Cubs have, and it’s his job to find a way to take the team to the next level.
Part of the challenge for Counsell will be getting Chicago to reach the postseason for the first time since 2020. In the Cubs’ 2023 season, they won 83 games but missed the playoffs.
The Brewers made the postseason five times under Counsell since 2018, only missing out in 2022. Milwaukee has lost five of their six playoff series and nine of their last 10 postseason games. For the new manager, he said he looks forward to the challenge of not only getting the Cubs to the playoffs but also making a World Series appearance.
He knows the program needs his best and that is something Counsell said he loves and excites him.
Nine Seasons with the Brewers
Counsell ended his career with Milwaukee with a 707-625 record as manager. However, he never managed to make a World Series appearance during his time with the team.
When he announced his departure from the Brewers, fans and players were shocked by his decision to take a job with their division rival. He not only coached the team for multiple years but also played for the Brewers for six years before retiring and staying to work in the front office.
Counsell said he underestimated how upset Brewers fans and players would be, but he understands it and respects it.