Today the Brewers new general manager David Stearns and manager Craig Counsell met with the press to day for a sort of "end of season" wrap-up. Here are some notes on things I found interesting.
Asked if Stearns was close to hiring people for the front office he stated he was still in the process of meeting with everyone currently involved in the Brewers front office. Being just 4 days after the season ended he didn't want to put a timetable on any moves such as hiring or firing nor did he want to rush the process.
When asked about possible off season trades Stearns was non-committal but he did say that he would be open to exploring everything. Of course no one would expect him to say he's looking to trade Player X as that would work against his leverage in trade talks.
Asked how Counsell would like to improve the team most he admitted that defensively they had room for improvement. He also noted that young starting pitching can improve rapidly and one can often see big jumps. He noted the bullpen was an area of strength.
Asked how the strength of the division would impact Stearns philosophy he said it wouldn't. He just wants to make the best division in baseball better. He wants to make it a four team division not a three team division. Sorry Reds.
Asked about recent waiver claim Junior Guerra Stearns said they have a system for waiver claims to make sure they don't miss anyone. Recent waiver claim put up some flags and they knew they wanted to grab him immediately.
Asked about Colorado Springs Stearns said the organizational philosophy is not to be afraid to send players there. If they feel a player would benefit from not going there they would hold him back but it doesn't seem like a concern for them.
Asked about fan reaction to a rebuild Stearns said Brewers fans are smart and he thinks they understand the position they are in. He's not concerned that patience during this rebuild will be an issue but that he doesn't think fans should have to be complacent with losing either.
Asked if any fences need to be mended with Matt Garza, Craig Counsell said he didn't think so. He and Garza had a long conversation when he left and he thinks it'll be a clean slate. Counsell also said he think Garza will or at least is capable of performing better next year.
Asked about a possible Jonathan Lucroy extension Stearns was quick to make it clear that he will not comment on such matters until they are finalized.
Asked about filling third base and if there were any internal candidates Stearns said that Elian Herrera particularly opened some eyes as a guy who could be part of a platoon there. He also said they might look into finding him a platoon partner to get the best out of the position.
Asked how Braun fits into the rebuild plans Stearns said Braun's been a vital part of this organization for years and he doesn't see that changing. Noted how much Braun cares about the franchise and wants to have special moments here again. Asked if Braun could be traded Stearns just said he would have conversations with his staff about off season moves at a later time.
Stearns noted he wants to have a rough idea of his offseason plans before he goes to the winter meetings. Though he said he won't share those plans publicly.
Asked if he feels like the outfield corners are set Stearns did say they have gotten good production out of those positions and that they are major league caliber players for those spots.
Asked if a team needs to have some bad seasons and in turn high draft picks to become a competitive team Stearns somewhat agreed. He said teams probably need to have several "good drafts." If they can draft intelligently they will give themselves a good talent foundation. He also noted that trades will help and could put them in a position to compete before those draft picks are MLB ready.
Asked about progression of minor leaguers Stearns said it was a case by case thing. Some players can shoot through the minors very quickly and some take significantly longer. They'll let the player dictate pace.
Asked about Jean Segura and positional surplus Stearns said that until a player shows what he can do at the major league level he doesn't want to treat it as a surplus. Sometimes there are adjustment periods for players when the reach the majors so they don't want to jump to conclusions. Noted that Orlando Arcia hasn't even played at Triple-A yet and there's no need to rush things.