Cubs shock MLB world with managerial change
The Cubs started the offseason by sending shockwaves across the baseball industry.
The team is hiring former Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell to head the team replacing David Ross, who was under contract through next season with a club option for 2025. The news was first reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and then confirmed Monday afternoon by the Cubs.
“Today we made the difficult decision to dismiss David Ross as our Major League Manager,” Jed Hoyer said in a statement. “On behalf of the Cubs organization, we express our deep gratitude for David’s contributions to our club, both on and off the field. First as a player and then as a manager, David continually showcased his ability to lead. David’s legacy will be felt in Chicago for generations and his impact to our organization will stack up with the legends that came before him.
“Going forward, our Major League team will be managed by Craig Counsell. We look forward to welcoming Craig at Wrigley Field early next week.”
In Counsell, the Cubs are acquiring a veteran manager who spent the last 9 seasons at division rival Milwaukee, amassing 707 wins, 3 division titles and 5 postseason trips, including a trip to the 2018 NLCS. Counsell’s contract with Milwaukee expired at the end of October and he was rumored to be a candidate for several open managerial positions, including the Mets, Guardians and returning to the Brewers.
The Cubs finished a game out of the playoffs in 2023 and, looking to contend in 2024, decided now was the opportunity to pounce on one of the top managers in the game.
Counsell has been praised for his ability to handle a bullpen — in 2023, the Brewers relief corps posted a 3.40 ERA, the second-best mark in baseball.
Ross, hired after the 2019 season, amassed a 262-284 record in 4 seasons in Chicago, including winning the 2020 NL Central title. He had served as a special assistant to the GM before taking the reins as manager.
Ross is also a World Series hero who got carried off the field on his teammates’ shoulders after Game 7 in 2016. He was revered as a veteran player who helped change culture in the clubhouse before retiring and joining the Cubs front office.