Reason #3: Craig Counsell could walk away after this season
While the Brewers could lose key pieces of their team because of payroll concerns, the larger concern should be with potentially losing the manager. Craig Counsell isn't under contract for 2024 quite yet and he hasn't made a decision on if he wants to return.
Reports are Counsell wants to watch his sons play college baseball, spending time with his family. That could lead him to walk away from managing for a bit. Recent reports indicate he's leaning towards staying, but no one truly knows.
Craig Counsell is the best manager in the game right now. Everyone across the league knows it. Even if someone wants to offer a different name, Counsell is always mentioned in the conversation. If he leaves, whoever the Brewers get to replace him is not likely to be in that same conversation as the best in the league. Counsell built the winning culture in the Brewers clubhouse. He's beloved by his players. Milwaukee would be taking a step back at such an important position that has a ton of impact on the on-field success of the club.
Counsell wants to be part of a World Series winner in Milwaukee more than anyone. It'll be difficult for him to walk away having not accomplished that feat, but David Stearns said the same thing and he still left. If the Brewers fall short in 2023, Counsell could very well decide to leave and if he does, the Brewers are left in a terrible position.
If Counsell's ultimate decision is to walk away and spend time with family after this season, it'll be a much easier pill to swallow for both him and the Brewers if they're able to win the World Series. That way Counsell can go out on top and fans may not be as concerned about losing Counsell because we have a World Series.
A lot of fans would be willing to trade a couple years of futility in the near future if it means winning just one World Series. The Nationals won it all in 2019 and they've been awful ever since, trading away everyone and rebuilding. If you ask Nationals fans if it's worth it because of that World Series, they'll say yes.
There may be futility coming in future years, or there may not. The farm system is good and there's a lot of young talent that will hopefully keep this team from being truly bad, but you never know with prospects. You could be getting the next Braun-Weeks-Fielder, or you could be getting the next Brinson-Erceg-Ray.
This team is good enough right now to get it done. They've been good enough for the past six years. Fans have had enough of just getting to the playoffs and not accomplishing anything else. This good run with Counsell, a top trio of starters, and prime Christian Yelich isn't going to last forever. They have to get accomplishments across the finish line before the run comes to an end, and it could all come to an end this winter.
Now is the time. It's urgent for the Brewers to win the World Series this year.