Craig Counsell headed to New York on Thursday to have an official interview with the New York Mets about their managerial vacancy, according to a report by Jon Heyman of the New York Post. It’s the next big step in president of baseball operations David Stearns’ pursuit of his former manager — the two spending nearly a decade together with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Counsell is the Mets’ No. 1 priority for the manager job, which was taken away from Buck Showalter upon Stearns’ arrival and the end of a disappointing 2023 season.
The 53-year-old skipper, who managed the Brewers to five playoff appearances in the past six years, is believed to have a legitimate interest in taking over the Mets’ job and reuniting with Stearns despite the prospect of leaving his hometown in Milwaukee.
Despite his contract with the Brewers officially expiring with the Brewers on Nov. 1, the Mets received early permission from the NL Central club to speak with Counsell. According to SNY’s Andy Martino, he and the Mets had a “long telephone chat,” earlier this week, which prompted Thursday’s meeting in New York.
The Cleveland Guardians have also interviewed Counsell and the Houston Astros are believed to be a potential suitor, as well. However, the Mets are believed to be the favorites considering owner Steve Cohen can outbid any other team — a hard-to-pass-up pair alongside Stearns’ connection with the free-agent manager.