Cubs land division rival’s manager in shock hire: reports

The Chicago Cubs and Craig Counsell stunned the MLB world on Monday as he is reportedly set to leave the Milwaukee Brewers to manage their National League Central division rivals.

The reports of Cubs turning to Counsell after a few years with David Ross came as the New York Mets were set to officially name Carlos Mendoza as their new skipper. Counsell was reportedly in play for the Mets job, as former Brewers executive David Stearns was named president of baseball operations.

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Craig Counsell manages the Brewers

Craig Counsell, #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers, looks on before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Two of the Wild Card Series at American Family Field on Oct. 4, 2023 in Milwaukee. (John Fisher/Getty Images)

Counsell was rumored to be in line for the Mets and the Cleveland Guardians job. However, the Guardians named Stephen Vogt their new manager earlier in the day. The Cubs were not rumored to be interested in hiring a new manager, as Ross was seen as the skipper for the future.

Counsell managed the Brewers from 2015 to 2023. He was 707-625 in that span, winning three division titles but never being able to lead the team to a World Series. The Brewers made the playoffs in five of the last six seasons.

Craig Counsell celebrates

Manager Craig Counsell, #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers, celebrates after winning the National League Division at American Family Field on Sept. 26, 2023 in Milwaukee. (John Fisher/Getty Images)

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He took over the team early in the 2015 season for Ron Roenicke.

Chicago will go with a new manager after four years of Ross at the helm. Ross got the Cubs into the Wild Card Series during the 2020 coronavirus-impacted season, but the team failed to make the postseason since.

Ross was 262-284 as the Cubs’ manager.

David Ross manages the Cubs

Chicago Cubs manager David Ross, #3, prior to the MLB game between the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves on Sept. 28, 2023, at Truist Park in Atlanta. (John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Chicago finished the 2023 season 83-79 and narrowly missed out on a playoff berth.