Earlier this week, the Milwaukee Brewers optioned Keston Hiura back to the minor leagues to make room for Travis Shaw and his return from the injured list. This move got a lot of criticism, as many people believed that Hiura had earned his spot on the major league roster. While it’s an unpopular move from GM David Stearns, he’s had his share of moves that have earned some criticism. It’s a topic that Kyle asked about on Twitter.
If you had to come up with a list of David Stearns most unpopular moves as GM of the Brewers, which ones come to mind?— Kyle L. (@brewerfan28) June 3, 2019
We wanna put together a poll @brewcrewball.
Based on the responses to that, we came up with a list of moves that were some of the more unpopular moves that David Stearns has made as GM. While we do have the benefit of hindsight on many of these, all had some level of skepticism at the time of the move as well. Some are specific roster moves, while others are just more general decisions made during the offseason. Let’s recap these moves quick:
Trading Khris Davis for Jacob Nottingham and Bubba Derby: With the Brewers facing a roster crutch in the outfield, they had to trade away a player. Khris Davis had shown plenty of promise on the offensive side, but with his limited ability on defense (only able to play left field), he ended up being traded. The full impact is still to be determined with the two prospects still coming up through the system, but Davis has flourished in Oakland.
Designating Scooter Gennett for assignment before the 2017 season: Another roster crunch was faced by the Brewers before the 2017 season. Orlando Arcia was set to take over the shortstop position in 2017, leaving Scooter Gennett and Jonathan Villar to fight over the second base spot. The Brewers ended up going with Villar, and with no takers for a trade, the Brewers simply designated Scooter Gennett — who had a minor league option remaning — for assignment right before the season. He was picked up by Cincinnati and has put together two very strong seasons there. (So far in 2019, he’s been on the IL with a groin injury.)
Not acquiring an “ace” pitcher during 2017-18 offseason: While the Brewers had a good staff in the 2017 season, the loss of Jimmy Nelson did increase the pressure on building the staff to get them to the postseason in 2018. The Brewers did make a nice grab that offseason, getting Jhoulys Chacin, who would lead the staff. However, they also passed on potential big name free agents (Alex Cobb, Yu Darvish, etc.), as well as some trade targets (Chris Archer, etc.).
Acquiring Jonathan Schoop for Jean Carmona, Luis Ortiz, and Jonathan Villar: Shortly after acquiring Mike Moustakas from the Royals, the Brewers made a surprise move by acquiring Jonatahn Schoop from the Orioles. While the Brewers did need some infield help, acquiring two infielders was completely unexpected. Unfortunately, Schoop strugged in his time in his time with the Brewers, which led to him spending most of the 2018 postseason on the bench. He was non-tendered in the offseason and signed with the Twins.
Not re-signing Wade Miley, Jordan Lyles, or Gio Gonzalez during 2018-19 offseason: Pitching was a big point of conversation again during the 2018-19 offseason. Though some believed the Brewers needed to make a big move in the starting rotation, the front office was confident going into camp with the pitchers that they had. However, this also meant that they let a few pitchers from the 2018 team walk. The three big names here were Wade Miley, Jordan Lyles, and Gio Gonzalez. Miley is doing well in Houston, and Lyles is also doing well in Pittsburgh. Gonzalez only got a minor-league deal with the Yankees, but did end up back with the Brewers during the 2019 season.
Optioning Keston Hiura back to the minors after 2+ successful weeks in the majors: When Travis Shaw went to the injured list with a sore wrist, it gave Keston Hiura a chance to play in the majors. He came out swinging, and in his 17 games with the team, hit five home runs and went 18-for-64. The only major complaint for him was his strikeout rate, as he struck out 23 times while only walking thrice. However, once Shaw was ready to return, Hiura was sent back down despite his good play.
These are the moves that the fans see as GM David Stearns’ most unpopular during his nearly four-year tenure in Milwaukee. Which move is the one you didn’t like the most? Vote in the poll, and then discuss in the comments why you voted the way you did.
What is David Stearns’ most unpopular move as GM of the Milwaukee Brewers?
This poll is closed
Trading Khris Davis for Jacob Nottingham and Bubba Derby
Designating Scooter Gennett for assignment before the 2017 season
Not signing an "ace" pitcher during 2017-18 offseason
Acquiring Jonathan Schoop for Jean Carmona, Luis Ortiz, and Jonathan Villar
Not re-signing Wade Miley, Jordan Lyles, or Gio Gonzalez during 2018-19 offseason
Optioning Keston Hiura back to the minors after 2+ successful weeks in the majors