Cody Bellinger interest makes Craig Counsell's betrayal more painful for Brewers

Craig Counsell gets to have his cake and eat it too with the Chicago Cubs and Cody Bellinger.

Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox
Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

Before Craig Counsell ever decided to switch sides and manage the Chicago Cubs, he and the Milwaukee Brewers were interested in Cody Bellinger. Yes, it's true.

The Cubs made Counsell the highest-paid manager in baseball this winter. Chicago had always admired Counsell from afar, as he got the most out of his Brewers teams despite a limited payroll. Still, Milwaukee fans were not happy with Counsell's decision to leave, especially considering his next destination was a division rival. After saying goodbye to Brewers fans, Counsell tried to explain what went into his choice.

“I mean, it's just, it's a challenge to me with an organization that is very much in a good place and is just trying to do some special things. So, that part of it certainly is exciting and alluring. And, you know, it's a challenge. It's going to be hard. It's scary. Because change is scary. But sometimes you need to push yourself out of that comfort zone, and that makes it exciting," Counsell said.

Craig Counsell and the Brewers almost signed Cody Bellinger in 2022

In his first season with the Cubs, Counsell is thankful that Jed Hoyer and Chicago's front office were able to bring Bellinger back where he belongs. While Belli can hit the free-agent market again next offseason, that's not a problem until next winter.

Counsell even revealed that while he was with the Brewers in 2022, Milwaukee tried to sign Bellinger.

“As a manager, I was very interested in adding Cody Bellinger last year,” Counsell said. “But I think I’d be speaking out of turn to know how serious (that was).”

Bellinger confirmed this when asked, saying it was "a possibility" at the time. Bellinger eventually signed a one-year prove it deal with the Cubs, which worked out very well for him.

It's safe to assume Milwaukee's offer was similar in nature, as the former NL MVP struggled to find his form from 2020-22 prior to signing in Chicago.