The Milwaukee Brewers might be in danger of losing one of their top front office executives this winter.
After manufacturing one of the quickest rebuilds in baseball history, teams around the league have taken notice of the Brewers talent both on the field and in the front office. For the past few seasons, teams have tried to hire away that front office talent.
Primarily, teams were focused on David Stearns, the young GM who made the decisions on the roster. With a bigger payroll on a bigger market team, they figured Stearns could work wonders with them.
But the Brewers wouldn’t let him go and instead gave him a promotion to President of Baseball Operations, so they could continue to block other teams from trying to interview him and steal him away. Stearns still retained the GM title, which meant that Assistant GM Matt Arnold stayed in his role instead of getting a promotion.
Now the 40 year old Matt Arnold is getting the interview calls.
The Brewers hired Matt Arnold away from the Tampa Bay Rays front office, a place known for churning out front office talent like the Wisconsin Badgers churn out offensive linemen. He’s been Stearns’ No. 2 from the beginning.
Matt Arnold interviewed for the Pirates GM job last year, but ultimately lost to someone who had prior GM experience in Ben Cherington.
The Angels GM job should be quite attractive for candidates given the ability to build a roster around the best player in the game of baseball today, Mike Trout. A lot of money is tied up in a couple of hitters, and what the team really needs is a pitching staff. Arnold and Stearns have built a pretty strong pitching staff in Milwaukee over the last few years.
Angels owner Arte Moreno is a very competitive guy, just like Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, but Moreno gives the Angels a bigger budget to work with.
Matt Arnold could end up being a very strong contender for the Angels GM job.
Although the Angels are interviewing around 20 candidates in this first round of interviews, per Ken Rosenthal, Arnold is someone that stands a good chance of moving on to the second round. He’s been an assistant GM for five years now and his team has made the postseason in three of those five seasons.
He’s bright, has a strong handle on analytics, and knows how to build a strong pitching staff.
If the Brewers really wanted to keep him around and prevent the Angels or anyone else from taking him, they could promote him to GM while Stearns is simply the President of Baseball Operations.
In theory, that might take some of the roster building decisions away from Stearns, but Stearns still would outrank him. It would really depend on how the Brewers want to structure that dynamic, but if they still want Stearns as the decision-maker, Arnold’s title as GM feels like it would just be kind of hollow.
There’s a chance the Brewers might lose their assistant GM this offseason. Too much “brain drain” from the front office is a bad thing, and while it would be nice to keep Arnold, he may end up needing to stretch his wings and fly from the nest. This process will play out over the next couple weeks and we’ll see if Arnold is chosen to lead his own front office.
Even if Arnold doesn’t get the Angels job, he’s likely going to be a candidate for every GM job that opens up over the next few years until he gets hired for one.