News broke late Sunday night the Brewers had ended their search for their new general manager. It wasn't official until they introduced David Stearns this afternoon. He will become the Brewers 9th general manager. The Brewers held a press conference to introduce their new GM at which both owner Mark Attanasio and David Stearns spoke.
Mark Attanasio said he started with 44 candidates but went through an interview with a handful of candidates. They decided to go with Stearns early because he impressed them and they didn't want to wait. Attanasio mentioned all the other GM vacancies. They didn't want to "be a slave to the process" and find that at the end of it the guy they wanted was gone.
At 30 years old Stearns may now be the youngest current general manger in baseball but he does have a number of years of experience. He began his official career in 2008 with the Indians. From 2012 until now he worked with the Astros as their assistant general manager. He also spent time working in the office of the commissioner of baseball.
Stearns talked a bit about working with Doug Melvin. Melvin will retain an office with the Brewers and would be available to him. Stearns said he would lean on Melvin though the process and he has already helped in acclimating to the new organization. As Stearns put it, "he's going to be a trusted adviser."
Asked how to balance analytics and old school baseball feel Stearns said the key is to accrue as much information as possible from all sides even including the medical side of things to make the best decision possible.
Asked about timetable Stearns has this to say: "I'm a big believer in not setting time limits for any team any year...this is a team with a lot of variability..." Essentially he said there was no strict plan that might limit the moves or direction they'd go in. He also said the talent at the major league level would dictate things a lot. That makes sense. There's no reason to publicly commit to a direction right now. And the major league team could very well find itself with a wealth of talent by mid-2016 which could force a change in direction.
Stearns also noted the path the org has gone down in the last 12 months was important and productive. Here he was acknowledging the rebuild the Brewers began as early as the Gallardo trade. He said the key to sustaining competitiveness is to acquire, develop, and retain young controllable talent. He went on to say the key to doing that is the ability to maintain a steady flow of talent through the minors. "You can't build a team through free agency," as Stearns said.
Stearns also said the enhanced minor league system and the young talent already on the major league team made coming to the Brewers an attractive proposition. Furthermore he said he "wouldn't have come here if [he[ didn't think [they] could win a World Series."