Deal is reportedly for five years and costing the Cubs $8 million per season
The Chicago Cubs have sent the entire baseball world into a state of shock Monday afternoon, as they’ve reportedly hired Craig Counsell as the team’s next manager. The team has not confirmed the move. Not only has it given fans of the North Siders flashbacks to when Rick Renteria was dumped as the skipper for Joe Madden, but the move comes with a hefty price tag.
Counsell getting five-year contract from Cubs worth more than $40M, league sources tell @TheAthletic. Will be highest-paid manager.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 6, 2023
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal has reported that Counsell will become the highest paid manager in MLB history, as his deal is for five years and $40 million. For reference, Counsell’s new annual salary of $8 million per season is higher than what 20 Cubs players made for all of 2023. It’ll also be more than double of what he was making with the Brewers ($3.5 million), and the $40 million total easily surpassing the money he made as a player.
Counsell’s pedigree should prove vital to a Cubs team narrowly missing the playoffs in 2023
Since Counsell took over for Ron Roenicke following the Brewers’ disastrous start to the 2015 season, he’s guided the team to a 707-625 record over nine seasons, winning three NL Central division titles in 2018, 2021, and this past season. He also guided the Brewers to an NLCS appearance in 2018, where they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games. He’ll leave Milwaukee as the team’s winningest manager in the franchise’s 55-year history.
As a player, Counsell won two World Series in 1997 and 2001 over a 16-year career. He was also the 2001 NLCS Most Valuable Player Award, batting .381 with 4 RBI and 5 runs scored.
He brings in a wealth of success, especially in the postseason, to a Cubs team who narrowly missed the postseason after a surprise 2023 season. With rumors circulating on who the front office might target on the players side, it’s clear the North Siders are going to be contenders come 2024.
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