Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations, Jed Hoyer, recently spoke about the team’s decision to fire manager David Ross and bring in Craig Counsell as his replacement. While Hoyer acknowledged that it was a difficult decision to let Ross go, he believed that hiring Counsell was the best move for the team’s fan base.
The idea of hiring Counsell began to grow on Hoyer last month as Counsell entertained other offers, including a potential return to the Milwaukee Brewers. However, the Cubs quickly signed Counsell to a five-year, $40 million deal once his contract with Milwaukee expired.
Hoyer emphasized that the decision to replace Ross with Counsell was made with the goal of winning as many games as possible in both the short and long term. He compared the move to when the Cubs brought in Joe Maddon to replace Rick Renteria a decade ago.
Hoyer spoke highly of Counsell’s abilities as a manager, stating that he is at the top of the game. His appreciation for Counsell began in 2017 when the Cubs and Brewers were battling for the NL Central crown. Despite concerns about Counsell’s lack of postseason success, Hoyer believes that navigating the regular season is more important.
The Cubs hope to benefit from Counsell’s ability to get the most out of a roster, even when the Brewers’ payroll was below league average. Hoyer highlighted the importance of getting into the playoffs in the new three wild-card team era and believes Counsell can help the Cubs achieve that goal.
Counsell’s salary as the highest-paid manager in the league was justified by Hoyer as the difficulty and importance of the role. However, Hoyer clarified that signing Counsell doesn’t mean the Cubs will have a crazy aggressive offseason, but they will pursue moves that make sense for the team.
When asked about meeting with representatives of free agent Shohei Ohtani, Hoyer declined to comment. He acknowledged the suddenness of the decision to replace Ross but believes it was the right move for the organization.