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Updated: Craig Counsell leaves Milwaukee to take over as manager of Cubs

The surprise nobody expected comes Monday afternoon as Brewers manager heads south to Wrigley

Syndication: Journal Sentinel Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Welp. Looks like Brewers fans will have to get used to seeing Craig Counsell in Cubs red, white, and blue.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported early Monday afternoon that Counsell was signed away from the Brewers by the team’s rival to the south. The initial details of the contract are reported as five years and in excess of $40 million, making him the highest-paid manager in the MLB.

Per Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Brewers offered Counsell a contract in the neighborhood of $5.5 million per season, which still would have made him the highest-paid manager in the MLB.

Counsell was brought in to replace Ron Roenicke in early 2015 after a poor start. He ended up finishing that season with a 61-76 record before sticking around through the 2023 season, becoming Milwaukee’s winningest manager in the process with a 707-625 record (.531 win percentage).

He also helped guide the Brewers to five playoff appearances in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2023, including division titles in 2018 and 2023. He also came just one win short of a World Series appearance in 2018, when the Brewers fell to the Dodgers in seven games.

Cubs manager David Ross, who has managed the team since 2020, will depart the Cubs after four seasons at the helm with a 262-284 record.

No further updates on Milwaukee’s managerial search are available at this time, but it was reported earlier Monday that the Cleveland Guardians hired former Brewer Stephen Vogt and the New York Mets hired Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza.