MLB rumors: One team leaning no on Glasnow, Kimbrel new home, Craig Counsell's awkward flight

  • Craig Counsell's flight to Winter Meetings reportedly included former Brewers colleagues
  • Craig Kimbrel close to joining the AL East again
  • One team may not trade for Rays starter Tyler Glasnow

Sep 22, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20) reacts after
Sep 22, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20) reacts after / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
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Craig Counsell's 'awkward' flight that wasn't really awkward

The first big free agent of the offseason was manager Craig Counsell. His contract with the Milwaukee Brewers had run out at the end of this past season. He was heavily linked to the New York Mets since the team hired former Brewers president David Stearns. Then, Counsell interviewed with the Cleveland Guardians for their manager position left vacant after the retirement of Terry Francona.

But it was the Chicago Cubs who hired Counsell in a shocking move. The team had already had David Ross under contract, who was unceremoniously fired after reports indicated they had given Counsell the richest deal for a manager in MLB history. Making the move from the Brewers to an NL Central rival didn't sit well with the Brewers or their fanbase.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal detailed what could be described as an "awkward" situation (subscription required). Counsell had taken a flight to the MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville. He just so happened to be on the same plane as Stearns, the current president of baseball operations for the Mets, and Pat Murphy, Counsell's former bench coach and current manager for the Brewers.

While it may be viewed as "awkward," Rosenthall said that that wasn't the case, saying that "the three maintain strong relationships."

After the announcement of Counsell's move to become the Cubs manager, Brewers president Mark Attanasio voiced his displeasure. Attanasio said the Brewers didn't lose Counsell, it was the manager who lost the team and the community.

At the time, Attanasio said that he was retaining the coaching staff for next season, which was a tell that one of them would be promoted to manager. Murphy, who had floated around as a managerial candidate over the years, was then selected to lead Milwaukee.

As for the Mets, they opted to go with Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza as their manager. This is the first managerial opportunity for Mendoza, who had been a sought-after candidate over the years.

Counsell's first game back in Milwaukee as the Cubs skipper will be interesting due in part to the fan reaction. But when it comes to his relationship with Stearns and Murphy, it remains strong.