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New York Mets to hire David Stearns as president of baseball operations

Stearns is currently serving the final year of his contract with the Brewers in an advisory role

MLB: AUG 06 Reds at Brewers Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Mets have long held interest in hiring Brewers executive David Stearns to lead their baseball operations. That goal became a reality on Friday, as Jeff Passan reports that the Mets have agreed to hire Stearns as president of baseball operations.

Stearns will begin his new position once the regular season concludes.

Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio denied multiple requests by the Mets to interview Stearns during his time in Milwaukee. However, with Stearns finishing the final year of his contract as an advisor, he was allowed to pursue new job opportunities.

Attanasio hired Stearns as general manager in September 2015 to succeed a resigning Doug Melvin.

The hire came during a rebuilding period for the franchise. By 2017, the Brewers returned to contention, finishing second in the National League Central and falling one game short of a playoff berth.

Stearns saw a competitive window opening and responded with an aggressive offseason. On January 25, 2018, he traded for Christian Yelich and signed Lorenzo Cain to a franchise-record contract within hours. Both outfielders went on to have MVP-caliber seasons, with Yelich taking home the award thanks largely to a torrid second-half performance. The Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs in a tiebreaker game to win the NL Central and fell one game short of the franchise’s second World Series appearance, losing to the Dodgers in seven games in the NLCS.

The Brewers have remained competitive ever since, making the playoffs in each of the following three seasons, including another division title in 2021.

That streak was snapped in 2022 with plenty of surrounding controversy. With the club in first place in the Central at the trade deadline, Stearns dealt star reliever Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres in a counter-building move. He tried to explain that exchanging players on expiring contracts for young talent is a necessary step for remaining competitive in a small market. Nonetheless, poorly-delivered messaging led to backlash from the fanbase and within the clubhouse.

Stearns stepped down as president of baseball operations in October, citing a desire to spend more time with family and pursue non-baseball interests. While the Hader trade and the team’s subsequent struggles were likely not a primary motivating factor behind his decision, they stained Stearns’ otherwise successful tenure in Milwaukee.

Stearns is often credited with ushering in the most successful era of Brewers baseball. Since the start of the 2017 season, the Brewers rank seventh in baseball and third in the National League with 561 wins.

Matt Arnold, formerly Stearns’ assistant general manager, has since taken over to lead baseball operations. He signed an extension after the 2020 season and will continue presiding over a fruitful era initiated by Stearns.