Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell hired by Chicago Cubs

Counsell grew up in Whitefish Bay and had managed Brewers since 2015

Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell looks around the stadium during a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023, in Chicago. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Former Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell has been hired by the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs confirmed the shakeup, first reported by The Athletic, in a statement Monday afternoon.

“Going forward, our Major League team will be managed by Craig Counsell. We look forward to welcoming Craig at Wrigley Field early next week,” the statement read.

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Counsell replaces fired Cubs manager David Ross in what one Chicago outlet called a “stunning” move.

USA Today Sports reported Counsell will receive a $40 million contract, making him the highest-paid manager in baseball history.

Counsell has been the Brewer’s manager since 2015 and has the most wins of any manager in the team’s history. He grew up just miles away from American Family Field and before leading the team played with the Brewers for six seasons.

But Counsell’s contract with the Brewers expired Oct. 31, and rumors have been swirling about where the 53-year-old manager would head next. The New York Mets reportedly were interested in hiring him, and according to MLB.com the Breweres offered him a new contract as well. Instead, he’ll be managing the Brewers’ rival to the south.

Counsell has been at the helm of a team that has had continued success during his tenure. Since 2017, the Brewers have the sixth-most wins in the major leagues. Counsell also led the team to the playoffs in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2023. In 2018, the Brewers fell just one game shy of the World Series.

Counsell grew up in Whitefish Bay and spent many of his early days at County Stadium — the former home of the Brewers — where his father worked in the front office for the team.

He played for the Brewers in 2004 and then again from 2007 until he retired in 2011. After working in the front office for the team, he was hired as manager in May 2015.

When he was hired in 2015, he told reporters he felt responsible for baseball in the city and state.

“Baseball in this city is important to me. It’s part of me. I feel a responsibility for it. I always have,” he said during a press conference.