In a shocking turn of events, Milwaukee Brewers President of Baseball Operations David Stearns is stepping down from his role and letting GM Matt Arnold ascend to be the lead decision maker for the club.
This is nothing short of stunning. Adam McCalvy first broke the news.
After a season in which Stearns made some poor moves at the trade deadline and is now facing a budget crunch and a lot of roster turnover this winter, he takes himself out of the job. It’s reported that Stearns will remain in the organization in an advisory role, just as his predecessor Doug Melvin has done. But Melvin was nearing retirement anyways, Stearns is a young man with a lot of career ahead of him.
The Brewers will have a new head of baseball operations in Matt Arnold after David Stearns’ shocking resignation.
As most Brewers fans know, the New York Mets have been after Stearns for years, trying to get him to lead their baseball operations department. But they have been rebuffed each time. Stearns is entering the final year of his contract and he may be putting himself in a position to take that job in New York.
After all, he could be blocked from interviewing for a lateral move. As President of Baseball Ops, there is no higher position and his move would be lateral. But now as a special advisor, the PBO job would be a promotion and he likely couldn’t be blocked from interviewing or taking the job.
Now Matt Arnold takes over. He arrived as the Assistant GM as one of Stearns’ first hires and has risen to the level of GM. Although he was always under Stearns on the organizational hierarchy, he’s been the GM for a few years now. How he actually handles being the sole decision maker remains to be seen.
Despite the puzzling decisions Stearns made at the Deadline this year, he’s done some amazing things in Milwaukee. Things were bleak when he took over. But he overhauled the analytics department, oversaw a very quick rebuild, and built a team that went to four consecutive postseasons, bringing in a new Golden Age in Brewers baseball. Prior to his arrival, the Brewers had only been to the postseason four times in their entire history.
The David Stearns Era will be remembered for some incredibly savvy moves, namely the acquisitions of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain in 2018, but also the successful Travis Shaw trade, acquiring Mike Moustakas, the Hunter Renfroe trade, and fleecing several teams in offseason deals. However, his era ends on a low note with the Josh Hader trade, which may be remembered most of all his moves.
The David Stearns Era is over. The Matt Arnold Era now begins. Will it be better or worse than the Stearns Era? The bar is set very high.