The future of Craig Counsell in Milwaukee is as murky as ever. The long-time Brewers skipper on his tour of interviews around the league as a rare managerial free agent. He'd be the top choice of every team in the league and will have his choice of landing spots.
Still, Milwaukee is his home and the Brewers are his team and it's difficult to envision Counsell managing a different team in 2024.
However, one bit of news and one rumor that came out on Monday may lead many to believe that Counsell will end up in a different uniform next year.
Craig Counsell is in Cleveland on Monday to interview with the Guardians
Counsell had already been given permission to interview with the New York Mets and shortly after the Guardians requested to interview him. The Brewers granted that request as well and on Monday he's interviewing with the Guardians for their open manager's job after Terry Francona retired.
Cleveland is a similar franchise to Milwaukee and Francona was previously the highest paid manager in baseball, so they're willing to pay for their managers. Counsell is reportedly looking to reset the managerial pay scale with his contract so Cleveland is a natural place to interview with.
Rumors indicate Counsell "serious" about his interest in New York
Jon Heyman has reported that Craig Counsell is "serious" about his interest in New York and that Counsell and his wife very much like the city.
Okay, let's take a step back before panic sets in. Of course Counsell is going to tell people that his interest is serious and that he likes the city. He's not going to interview if he's not serious about it and hates the city, that just wouldn't make sense for him to do and less sense to tell people about.
This reporting is in the New York Post and Heyman has been trying to cheerlead the Counsell-to-New-York bandwagon for a while now, so there should be a bit of a grain of salt taken here.
How concerned should Brewers fans be about the latest Counsell rumors?
This is all a leverage play by Craig Counsell. He's shopping around to see what other teams are willing to pay him in order to secure the best possible contract for himself and for managers across baseball.
You're worth what someone is willing to pay you. Counsell is seeing what other teams are willing to pay him. He's going to play the part of having serious interest in these jobs and that he'll like going to these cities in order to give these teams the feeling that he could actually come to them, which leads to better offers. If they feel Counsell's just going through the motions and isn't serious, their offer is going to be lower than it otherwise would be.
Counsell is trying to secure the best offer possible that he can then take back to the Brewers and ask them to match or at least come close in order to keep him. He's going to publicly put out there that he's willing to leave, and he has to be willing to leave in order to make this play. If the Brewers aren't willing to match the top offers, he has to be willing to walk away.
From everything the Brewers have said, they're likely to be willing to match whatever offer Counsell gets from another team to keep him in Milwaukee.
This is all about leverage. Counsell has it right now and he's going to maximize it to secure the best contract for himself and other managers in baseball. At the end of his interviews, Counsell is probably going to give the Brewers the right of first refusal. It's extremely unlikely Counsell would simply take an offer on an interview without giving the Brewers a chance to match it given his history here.
There's nothing to be concerned about right now. All of this information that came out is Counsell exercising his leverage.