Questions are swirling from all directions regarding the Milwaukee Brewers franchise, and the National League’s longest-tenured manager could be at the center of it.
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and manager Craig Counsell had been discussing a contract extension since the offseason, but he told reporters on Saturday those talks have stalled.
“Relative to Craig’s future, we actually met yesterday and decided that all the focus is going to be on the field,” Attanasio told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“Everything’s going so well that we’ll get together after the season’s over and talk about it.”
Counsell went into this season without a contract extension, and The Post’s Jon Heyman reported that the Brewers manager declined to extend his contract in the spring and could elect free agency where he would have many suitors.
“It’s up to Craig,” Attanasio continued on Counsell. “We’d love to have him here, obviously, for a jillion reasons.”
But that decision might not be up to the Attanasio.
Milwaukee is enjoying a 72-57 record and the top spot in the NL Central division, but their ballpark is facing funding issues as they look to renovate American Family Field.
The team has reportedly threatened to relocate if they cannot come to an agreement with state politicians on an estimated $448 million in renovations.
There’s also the Mets’ expected ace in the hole, David Stearns, who New York has reportedly attempted to bring to the team multiple times with the Brewers constantly blocking the attempts.
Given the uncertainty in Milwaukee and a potential opportunity to follow Stearns wherever he ends, there remains at least a chance that Counsell finds himself dawning the orange and blue in Queens next season.
Stearns, now a free agent, has been asked in the past whether he would be departing Milwaukee for another team and bringing his star manager with him next season.
Although current Mets manager Buck Showalter is under contract for next season, Heyman did reiterate that Counsell could opt to take a year off from managing and follow his four athletic children, two of whom are playing Division I college baseball.
He will be in high demand regardless of what he does in 2024, and there’s always a chance the Mets will pair the Milwaukee dream team in the Big Apple.
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