It's fair to say that nobody saw this one coming. While it's not shocking that Craig Counsell found a new home on Monday afternoon, it was rather surprising to learn that he'll be the new manager of the Chicago Cubs.
Most of baseball was unaware that the Cubs were even in the market for a new skipper. Heck, it's possible that David Ross didn't know.
The former Cincinnati Reds catcher had led the Cubs for the past four seasons, but outside of a quick exit during the abbreviated 2020 postseason, Ross had never led Chicago to the MLB Playoffs.
Reds' nemesis shockingly poaches skipper from NL Central rival
Most pundits expected Craig Counsell to either land with his former boss in New York or return to his hometown team in Milwaukee. But Counsell, who was rumored to be looking to reset the market for managers, followed the money.
Counsell, according to The Athletics' Ken Rosenthal, inked a five-year/$40-million deal to become the league's highest-paid manager.
The Cubs undoubdtedly think that Counsell is the one to lead them to the NL Central title and help the club to return to the postseason. Counsell's teams are 7-12 in five postseason appearances with three NL Central Division Championships during his nine years at the helm for the Brewers.
Unfortunately, the Cincinnati Reds were unable to see Craig Counsell join another ball club outside the NL Central and will instead see the new Cubs' skipper on a regular basis.
The Reds re-signed David Bell to a three-year contract extension earlier this season. Cincinnati's manager is 333-375 (.470) heading into Year 6 and has, perhaps, his best chance to get the Reds to the MLB Postseason.