Since the beginning of the Milwaukee Brewers rebuild, no one really believed that they were going in the right direction. The first trade that commenced this transition by former General Manager Doug Melvin involved Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. The Brewers received Brett Phillips, Josh Hader, Domingo Santana and Adrian Houser. This first deal is now starting to take shape and make an impact at the MLB level. But a lot more was done to get the Brewers roster into shape.
In the past, we know that Melvin was prone to making an exceptional trade. Deals for C.C Sabathia and Zack Greinke helped the Milwaukee Brewers reach the postseason. He may have sold the farm but, it was worth every prospect to help the Brewers make the playoffs.
After making the trades that really hurt the system, the Brewers relied on one man to reload the lower levels, Harvard graduate, David Stearns.
Hired to put the Brewers team in contention on a “3-to-5 year plan,” Stearns has completely rebuilt the farm system and the Major League roster in a very short period of time.
The most memorable deal has to be the lopsided Travis Shaw deal. This trade is the gift that keeps on giving with a core member on the Major League roster and other prospects on the way.
Jonathan Villar is another great example. Even though he is off to a slow start in 2017, his 2016 season was fantastic. He batted .285, clubbed 19 home runs and stole 62 bases. The Brewers only gave up a pitcher named Cy Sneed and netted an All-Star caliber second baseman.
One intriguing aspect of the acquisitions by Stearns is that when the players come to Milwaukee, they seem to find their strengths.
Look at Eric Sogard. This veteran has been on the team for almost a full month and is still absolutely on fire. Normally a career .246/.307.328 hitter, he is now transforming his career in navy blue and gold. This season, the 31-year old is batting .375/.500/.609 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 23 games with no end in sight.
Anyone remember the Jean Segura deal? The Brewers gave up a player who needed a change of scenery and received a monumental haul. Isan Diaz is currently our fifth rated prospect, Chase Anderson is a key member of the rotation, and Aaron Hill was dealt to get more promising talent in Aaron Wilkerson and Wendell Rijo.
The list goes on and on. There are at least five pages of trades and claims Stearns has won. Now that the Milwaukee Brewers are sitting in first place on June 10th 2017, Stearns has clearly earned the trust of management and the fan base. With the current wave of talent arriving at the Major League level, Stearns needs to show another skill; keeping the right names and dealing away the players that won’t work out.