Counsell held many different roles within the organization, so it was rather shocking to see him go. The 53-year-old played a total of six years for the Brewers, then took a job in the front office after hanging up his cleats. Counsell also did some color commentating for one season. In 2015 Counsell became the Brewers’ manager, and he currently holds the franchise record for most managerial wins with 707.
But baseball is a business, and the Cubs are reportedly giving Counsell a five-year contract worth more than $40 million. As is commonly done, Counsell called the Brewers players before the Cubs announcement so they could hear the news from him — although many might have already seen the news on social media.
Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes, a three-time All-Star, seemed to have some mixed feelings about the whole situation.
“I think my reaction is the same as everyone in the organization and the fan base,” Burnes told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. “We’re just shocked initially.”
Although Burnes said Counsell raised the bar, he knows things are not going to be quite the same.
“But on the personal side, it’s going to be strange,” Burnes added.
Counsell’s move left William Contreras speechless, so the 25-year-old catcher shared a few face palm emojis to express his feelings.
Pitcher Brandon Woodruff, who joined the team in 2017, said he is “still processing” the move because he was not expecting the Cubs to become Counsell’s destination. His first reaction was simple yet easy to understand: “Lord have mercy.”
However, Woodruff made it clear there are no hard feelings.
“I’m still processing it, too. I was not expecting the Cubs,” Woodruff added. “But then when you dig down a little bit deeper, you kind of get it.”