SNY’s Andy Martino was the first to report that the Mets will interview Counsell.
The Mets have received permission to interview Craig Counsell for the manager job, according to league sources. Brewers had initially indicated they would not grant it, and Counsell’s contract would have to expire. They have changed course, and Mets will be interviewing him soon.— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) October 25, 2023
Counsell’s future has been a season-long storyline. 2023 was the final season of a three-year extension he signed in 2020.
Counsell deferred extension talks earlier in the year, saying he preferred to wait until after the season to contemplate his future.
Counsell’s contract expires at the end of October, and the Brewers could have denied the Mets permission to interview him until he officially became a free agent. However, there are multiple reasons to make him available to other clubs before that date.
Counsell may wish to speak with other suitors as a free agent before making a decision on his future. Granting him that opportunity now is a good-faith move by his current employer, and showing Counsell such respect could keep negotiations healthy and factor into his decision. Letting him process other offers now rather than making him wait may also help him reach a decision sooner.
Past reporting by Jon Heyman has reported that Counsell seeks to be paid “what he believes is fair.” The Mets boast one of baseball’s wealthiest owners in Steve Cohen, and Heyman has speculated that New York could double his reported $3.5 million salary from 2023.
If Counsell intends to explore other opportunities as part of a quest for a salary bump, allowing him to interview with the Mets honors that request. Receiving a job offer from the Mets could give Counsell more leverage in negotiations with the Brewers.
Heyman and other reporters have speculated that the Mets’ financial resources and Counsell’s history with newly hired David Stearns could convince him to relocate to New York.
However, Counsell’s ties to the Midwest are well-documented. He lives in Whitefish Bay year-round with his wife and children, including two sons who will play college baseball in 2024 at Michigan and Minnesota.
Whether or not Counsell prefers to remain in the Milwaukee area, he seems determined to consider other opportunities before making a decision.