The money helped get him here, but the Cubs manager isn't focused on it
"I think I wanted the challenge of this. You know? All of this, right? And that was kind of like what I had my head on a little bit, is the challenge in a place like this. The salary is just kind of a byproduct of all that stuff."- Craig Counsell
The proud new recipient of a five-year, $40 million contract, Counsell is going to be hit with a level of expectations Ross never battled with during his time as Cubs manager. The rosters Jed Hoyer gave Ross were mere shells of what Counsell will likely work with - and the Cubs are demanding results.
Until we see the group that heads to Arizona in the spring with their new manager, it's hard to set realistic expectations for Counsell in year 1. But you don't go out and make someone the highest-paid manager in MLB history only to give him a pieced together roster that's a fringe contender. One way or another, we'll see major changes to the team in the months to come.
The Cubs dynasty that was supposed to materialize after 2016 never came to be - but now, Counsell has the opportunity to be the man at the helm when Chicago bursts back onto the scene in dramatic fashion. He wanted the challenge and we'll see soon enough if he's up for it.