Craig Counsell

Craig Counsell proving to be in for the long run with the Chicago Cubs

The Cubs manager talks about his place with the Cubs and how he got there

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Newly minted Cubs manager Craig Counsell is still getting his bearings with the team since his surprise move from the Milwaukee Brewers to the division adversary.

But he's quickly showing he's in this thing for the long run.

"We're at the start of a journey, man. Together," Counsell said on MLB Network at the Winter Meetings. "... It's been fun getting to know [Nico Hoerner, Dansby Swanson, and Ian Happ]."

The Cubs announced Counsell as the 56th manager of the organization in early November.

They signed him to a record-breaking five-year contract worth $40 million. He immediately became the highest-paid manager in baseball after shocking the baseball world with a lateral move to the south of his once-beloved Brewers.

Of course, that wasn't always the plan for Counsell.

He said on MLB Network the Cubs "weren't in the picture for most of the process." He admitted it was "hard work" being a free agent as a manager. In the end, it came down to deciding between the Brewers and the Cubs.

The Brewers allowed Counsell to explore free agency after the skipper's contract was up. They planned, however, to negotiate another deal. Counsell said they pushed off negotiations for a while, though they had conversations.

The Cubs seemingly pounced at the sight of the Brewers' complacency with their manager and ushered him to the North Side. The move showed the baseball world they aren't messing around this season --- an attitude they plan to bring to free agency and the MLB offseason, too.

“We’re solving for wins… That’s the puzzle you’re putting together. That’s the hard part about roster building," Counsell said to the media at the Winter Meetings.

The Cubs have been attached to several names. And, of course, they are still in on Shohei Ohtani. After Ohtani, the Cubs seemingly have a Plan B in Tyler Glasnow, Matt Chapman, Rhys Hoskins, Cody Bellinger and even Juan Soto, who remains available on the trade market.

It remains to be seen how the Cubs operate from a roster management standpoint this offseason. However that piece of their offseason unfolds, they have arguably the game's best manager at the helm of their operation.

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