MILWAUKEE – After a disappointing end to the 2023 Milwaukee Brewers campaign, and with rumors swirling about the future of manager Craig Counsell, general manager and head of baseball operations Matt Arnold was prepared right away at his season-ending press conference.
Arnold opened with a tribute to former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch: “I’m just here so I don’t get fined”.
After acknowledging the playoff exit came much sooner than expected, and that it was a more painful exit than those in the past, he addressed those Counsell rumors right off the bat.
“We’re not going to put any timetable on Craig. We’re in regular conversations with him.” Arnold said. “We’re going to be prepared to have a manager next year even if it’s not Craig…he’s our top choice for sure”.
In terms of offseason needs, Arnold said they’ll assess the entire organization. “We’re not comfortable with where we are.”
A story that may have flown under many fans’ radars was the decision by infielder Keston Hiura to pursue free agency, meaning the former ninth-overall pick in 2017’s time with the Brewers is likely over. Despite batting .311 in Triple-A Nashville this season, Arnold said the acquisitions of both Mark Cahna and Carlos Santana ate up any opportunities for Hiura on the major league roster. “He’s set himself up to be a successful player anywhere in the league.”
Arnold also talked about pitcher Corbin Burnes’s future. Despite a difficult Game One loss in the NL Wild Card round against Arizona, Arnold said he expects Burnes to be a Brewer in 2024, though wouldn’t close the door on a deal should the right opportunity arise.