File this under “things we already knew,” but the Mets reportedly have a “reasonable chance,” to bring on Craig Counsell as their next manager, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
This has been the consensus since the moment Buck Showalter announced that he was shown the door on the final day of the regular season — and even before that. The 53-year-old Milwaukee Brewers manager has been linked with the Mets for as long as his former boss, David Stearns, was linked to New York’s president of baseball operations job.
Now that Stearns is in Queens, those links only grew stronger as Counsell is considered to be the Mets’ No. 1 choice.
Of course, it’s not that easy. The Mets have to wait until November to talk to the Milwaukee skipper, who had spent the last nine years with the NL Central club working under Stearns, who went from general manager to president of baseball operations to special advisor last year with the Brewers before making the move to New York.
Counsell will have had roughly a month to mull over his future, which certainly has multiple avenues available.
The Milwaukee native could very well end up staying put if the Brewers’ front office decides to meet his contract wishes, though he deferred extension talks in the spring. It doesn’t appear that negotiations are taking place now, either, according to Heyman.
Then there’s jumping ship to the Mets — a franchise that offers Counsell the promise of having nearly every available resource to build a winning team. That’s something he’s never had in Milwaukee, which is a testament to his management and Stearns’ ability to build a team that made the playoffs five of the last six seasons.
There is also the option of taking a year or two off. Speculation had risen this season that upon the expiration of his contract with the Brewers, Counsell would spend some time with his family — something that’s been difficult to attain considering he started his nearly-decade-long run as Brewers manager just four years after a 16-year playing career. But that doesn’t appear to be the most likely option, at least at this time.