There currently is a lot of uncertainty as to if Craig Counsell will return as the Milwaukee Brewers manager in 2024 or not. Earlier in the week permission to interview Craig Counsell was shockingly given to the New York Mets. Now a report from The Athletic's Will Sammon has indicated that a second team has asked for permission.
The Cleveland Guardians have asked the Milwaukee Brewers for permission to interview Craig Counsell.
Will Sammon, who previously worked as the Brewers beat reporter for The Athletic, reported that Cleveland asked Milwaukee for permission to interview Craig Counsell. He did not indicate whether or not it was granted, but come November 1 Craig Counsell will be free to talk with whomever he wants without the Brewers blessing.
Taking this a step further there are some similarities between Milwaukee and Cleveland that could appeal to Craig Counsell. Will Sammon pointed these out by saying that both organizations are small-market teams that operative in a forward-thinking way.
Additionally the Guardians could make a high financial pitch to Craig Counsell. Their former manager Terry Francona was near the top in regards to manager salaries. Some rumors have indicated that Craig Counsell wants to set a new standard of pay for managers and Cleveland could provide him with the opportunity.
Under Terry Francona the Guardians made the playoffs four different times that included a World Series appearance in 2016. They have some experienced players on their roster yet including Jose Ramirez, Steven Kwan, Shane Bieber, and Emmanuel Clase, but also have some intriguing younger players such as Gavin Williams and Oscar Gonzalez.
Between their current roster makeup and their track record of winning their is an argument that Cleveland could be more immediately appealing then New York in which they will be rebuilding for a few seasons. Additionally Cleveland, Ohio is closer to "home" (Whitefish Bay, WI) than New York.
It will be interesting to see if Craig Counsell interviews with Cleveland or not. Milwaukee will certainly also be doing all they can in order to retain him, but expect things to appear bleaker over the next few weeks as more teams reach out desiring to plead their case.
If Milwaukee is unable to retain Craig Counsell, and this process drags out over several weeks or months, they could find themselves on the outside looking in regards to top managerial candidates being available. That being said once able it would not be surprising to see the Brewers bring in a few candidates just in case Craig Counsell does indeed leave and sign elsewhere.