Remember just the other day when I was complaining about being old and how the majority of the Brewers 40-man roster is younger than me? Well it's even worse that the Brewers dang General freaking Manager is younger than me. I mean, for a few more weeks we're sort of the same age. We're both 31 until my birthday later this month and then I can't go on pretending I'm not super over the hill. But for today let's talk about the Brewers GM who is totally my age.
A quick look at his Wikipedia page will tell you that Stearns went to Harvard, worked for the Mets, Indians, Astros, and MLB's central office before being tabbed as Doug Melvin's successor. That's quite an impressive resume for such a young lad. I once tried selling vacuum cleaners for a couple of weeks in college. So you know, I'm no stranger to success either.
We didn't really know what to expect from our new GM when he took over. It's really hard to tell what an front office executive is responsible for and usually we just attribute things to the GM. They do set the agendas and have the final say in any decision afterall. Since this is David Stearns' first GM job we didn't have enough information to form an opinion.
But now we have some of his own handy work to look at. Here is a list of his more noteworthy transactions over the offseason:
10/7 - Brewers claim RHP Junior Guerra off waivers from White Sox
11/18- Brewers trade RHP Francisco Rodriguez to Tigers for 2B Javier Betancourt and C Manny Pina
11/19- Brewers trade RHP Cy Sneed to Astros for SS Jonathan Villar
11/20- Brewers trade SS Luis Sardinas to Mariners for OF Ramon Flores
12/9- Brewers trade 1B Adam Lind to Mariners for RHP Daniel Missaki, Carlos Herrera, and Freddy Peralta
12/10- Brewers trade cash considerations to Red Sox for 3B Garin Cecchini
12/10- Brewers select INF Colin Walsh in Rule 5 Draft (from Athletics)
12/10- Brewers select RHP Zack Jones in Rule 5 Draft (from Twins)
12/15- Brewers sign 1B/3B Will Middlebrooks to minor league contract
12/17- Brewers trade 1B Jason Rogers to Pirates for OF Keon Broxton and RHP Trey Supak
12/23- Brewers claim OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis off waivers from Mets
12/23- Brewers claim C Josmil Pinto off waivers from Padres
12/23- Brewers claim 1B Andy Wilkins off waivers from White Sox
1/6- Brewers sign 1B Chris Carter to major league deal
1/28- Brewers trade LHP Trevor Seidenberger to Padres for OF Rymer Liriano
1/30- Brewers trade SS Jean Segura and RHP Ty Wagner to Diamondbacks for SS Isan Diaz, RHP Chase Anderson, 2B/3B Aaron Hill, and cash
2/12- Brewers trade OF Khris Davis to Athletics for C Jacob Nottingham and RHP Bubba Derby
2/22- Brewers claim LHP Sean Nolin off waivers from Athletics
Normally compiling a list like this would be annoying busywork but I thoroughly enjoyed relieving this offseason! We probably should try to glean too much information from his offseason moves without more data points. But it seems to me that David Stearns is rather daring and not afraid to make mistakes. That's a very good thing. Daring is what the smallest market in baseball will need if it wants to become a contender in the future.
I'm not sure it means anything important, but check this out. Of the 18 transactions listed 3 involved the Athletics, 2 involved the Padres, 2 involved the White Sox, 2 involved the Mariners, and if we consider Chris Carter was mostly recently an Astros they're involved in 2 as well. It probably doesn't mean anything more than Stearns was involved in trade talks with these clubs and therefore was familiar with their talent so when some of it became available (waivers) it was only natural he'd be involved. But hey, since conspiracies all in vogue right now, the Brewers claimed Zack Jones from the Twins and they've sort of recently (this winter as well as at the trade deadline last year) expressed interest in Will Smith. I wonder if Stearns had been talking to them earlier this winter...
I'm not sure what to expect from Stearns going forward but I am excited. He's made tons of moves and not a single one have I disliked. That doesn't mean he's made the right moves of course. Time will tell. But he still has some big trade chips left--Jonathan Lucroy and Will Smith specifically. Regardless of how many games the Brewers win this year, I'm sure the Brewers GM will make it an interesting one.