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Free agent manager Craig Counsell is expected to select a team in the coming days, reports SNY. Counsell has interviewed with the New York Mets and Cleveland Guardians in recent weeks, and could also return to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Mets named David Stearns, who worked with Counsell all those years in Milwaukee, their new president of baseball operations last month. The Guardians named Stephen Vogt as their new manager on Monday, so that presumably means Counsell will jump to the Mets or stay in Milwaukee. 

With Counsell nearing a decision, the Mets are expected to name their new manager one way or the other in the coming days. New York Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza is also a candidate for the Mets job. According to SNY, the "only scenario" that could delay the Mets naming a manager is Counsell and Mendoza both joining other teams.

On the other hand, Todd Rosiak reports that the Brewers for some time now have had an offer before Counsell that would make him MLB's highest-paid manager. In addition to the years he's already spent with the Brewers, Counsell is a Wisconsin native who still makes his home in the state. 

Counsell, 53, is regarded as one of the top managers in the game. He just wrapped up his ninth season with the Brewers, during which his teams have won the NL Central three times and gone to the postseason five times. Milwaukee has won just one postseason series under Counsell, however. They swept the Colorado Rockies in the 2018 Division Series.

The Brewers approached Counsell about an extension earlier this year, though he opted to wait, in part because he was considering stepping away from the game and spending more time at home. That is seen as unlikely now. Counsell is expected to manage in 2024, though his team is not yet know. The Mets have been considered the favorite for several weeks.

Counsell is Milwaukee's franchise leader in games managed (1,332) and wins (707). Despite being held in such high regard, he has never won Manager of the Year, though he was the runner-up three times (2018, 2019, 2021). Counsell played 16 years in the big leagues as a versatile infielder before beginning his managerial career.

The Brewers, Mets, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, and San Diego Padres are all looking for a new manager this offseason. The San Francisco Giants hired Bob Melvin last month.