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Latest On Brewers’ Managerial Vacancy

Latest On Brewers' Managerial Vacancy

The Brewers are suddenly looking for a manager for the first time in almost a decade, with Craig Counsell’s stunning move to the Cubs yesterday. Some of the options they are considering as a replacement, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, are current Brewers bench coach Pat Murphy, Blue Jays bench coach Don Mattingly, Astros Bench coach Joe Espada, Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough, Astros hitting coach Troy Snitker and former player Rickie Weeks.

Counsell departing Milwaukee wasn’t totally unforeseen. He was on an expiring contract in 2023 and extension talks didn’t come to fruition. But with David Stearns moving on from the Brewers to become president of baseball operations for the Mets and then firing manager Buck Showalter, many assumed Counsell would follow him to Queens. But Counsell joining the division-rival Cubs was not foreseen or known to be on the table.

Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio spoke on the matter yesterday, per Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and it seems he was surprised as well. “When he first told me, I said, ‘Are you messing with me?’” Attanasio added that “It is what it is” and that the club intends to continue putting their best foot forward without Counsell. “We have a really good thing. I give Craig credit for helping to build that, and for adding all these coaches, all of whom have stayed. So we’re going to look for a manager who can continue having a terrific clubhouse culture and that can help us keep winning and hopefully get over the hump in the playoffs.”

As for the Mets, despite the generally spendthrift behavior of Steve Cohen in recent years, they apparently never got close to the $40MM over five years that Counsell secured from the Cubs. Per Andy Martino of SNY, there was a sense that his interest in coming to the Mets wasn’t actually that high and he was merely using them to drive up the bidding. That would track with his reported interest in resetting the market for managerial salaries. Perhaps he wasn’t especially willing to do that in Queens since he grew up in the Midwest and Chicago is a better fit for him, or perhaps the Mets were content to hire a manager with lesser demands, but the end result is that the Mets landed first-time manager Carlos Mendoza instead.

As for the Brewers’ immediate concerns in relation to this, though it may sting that Counsell joined a division rival instead of the Mets, the focus now will be on filling the void. It seems…

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