Brewers President of Baseball Operations David Stearns is in his seventh year in charge of the Milwaukee Brewers front office. In that time, he has proven himself as one of the top executives in the game and other teams (cough New York Mets cough) have been trying to steal him away.
He’s gotten himself to this level of respect within the industry partially because of his excellent ability to build a roster and that he’s built the Brewers up to a major contender very quickly. But also partially because of his ability to make trades and that he wins a very high percentage of these trades.
Stearns and other execs will tell you that they don’t aim to “win” trades when they’re in negotiations, but as time goes by, it becomes quite clear who got the better end of the deal. In fact, in our article determining Stearns’ batting average on trades last year, he was winning more than 75% of his trades.
Some wins were smaller, some were bigger, and some were an absolute fleecing of the Crew’s trade partner.
Here are the 5 biggest trade fleeces that David Stearns has made for the Brewers.
David Stearns Trade Fleece #5: Jason Rogers To The Pirates For Keon Broxton, Trey Supak
It was the first offseason David Stearns was in charge of the Brewers and he had a couple of fleeces to start off. One of them was this trade with the division rival Pirates.
Jason Rogers was a 32nd round draft pick of the Brewers back in 2010. He made his way through the farm system and made his big league debut in 2014. In 2015, Rogers got a bit of an extended look at first base with the Brewers at first base as the team tore down and began a rebuild. Rogers, to his credit, did well in that short stint.
In 86 games in 2015, Rogers hit .296 with four homers and a 121 OPS+. He looked good. But a new GM came to town in Stearns and he saw a player who’s value would never be higher. So he swung a deal with the Pirates.
In exchange for Rogers, Stearns brought in Keon Broxton, a great defensive centerfielder with a questionable bat but a lot of power when he made contact, and Trey Supak, a solid pitching prospect. A pretty strong return for a 32nd round first baseman with a half a season’s worth of big league games under his belt.
With the Pirates, Rogers played in just 23 games that next season, and went 2-for-25, hitting just .080 with an OPS+ of 30. He never made it back up to the big leagues.
Meanwhile, Keon Broxton played in 75 games in 2016 for Milwaukee and had a 107 OPS+ with 23 stolen bases and nine homers. The next year, Broxton was a regular in the lineup, hitting 20 homers and stealing 21 bases.
Broxton provided a lot of fun over his three years in Milwaukee and was overall a positive impact, accumulating 3.5 fWAR with the Crew. Rogers had -0.1 fWAR in his very short time with the Pirates. Supak never made an impact at the big league level for the Crew, although he was called up but never made it into a game.
But one of the reasons this trade becomes such a big fleece is the end of Broxton’s tenure with the Brewers, but more on that in just a bit.