"It just wasn't the right time for me," Counsell said.
Counsell, who has worked as an aide to Brewers general manager Doug Melvin since January, said he made clear to the Red Sox that he was interested but had some "family reservations." Counsell lives with his wife and three boys just north of Milwaukee.
On the other hand, Counsell's parents live in Fort Myers, Fla., where the Red Sox have Spring Training, and he was interested enough to travel to Boston for an interview.
"Family-wise, I just wasn't ready to do something like that," Counsell said. "I was interested in it as a challenge. That's what was attractive. And it is Boston, and that's attractive."
Getting back into uniform also has its draw. The Brewers are actually in the market for a backup shortstop, and Melvin joked that Counsell could be the first player/front-office official. But Counsell has been clear that his playing days are over.
"I phrase it like this: If you spend 20 years playing and with a uniform on, the field always has its pull," Counsell said.
He remains open-minded about his future. In his current front-office role, Counsell has taken on a myriad of different tasks, learning all phases of the business from scouting to player development to medical care to player recruitment. He could be a future general manager.
Or, he could be a terrific field manager.
"I don't have to define what the future is," Counsell said. "I enjoy working with good people, which I am [doing] right now. I enjoy having a chance to win, which we [have] right now. So, that's satisfying."