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Brewers ink Craig Counsell to a three-year contract extension

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The Milwaukee Brewers announced that they and manager Craig Counsell have agreed to a three-year contract extension. The deal will keep him under contract to the Brew Crew through the 2023 season. Counsell was entering the final year of his previous deal.

Counsell took over the club in May of the 2015 season. Since then the Brewers have gone 405-281 with one division title and one Wild Card appearance. They reached the seventh game of the NLCS in 2018.

If Counsell completes the new contract, he will have completed 8+ seasons at the helm of the Brewers, which would make him the longest-serving manager in club history. The current record holder is Phil Garner, who managed seven seasons and part of an eighth in the 1990s. Garner is also the all-time leader in managerial wins for the Brewers, but Counsell already in fourth place, trailing by only 158 wins.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.