Milwaukee Brewers: The 5 Best Moves of the David Stearns Era

Matt Carroll
Brewers general manager David Stearns has been a busy man recently, adding nine players through trades or free-agent signings to the team's roster.Mjs Brewers Desisti 5689
Brewers general manager David Stearns has been a busy man recently, adding nine players through trades or free-agent signings to the team's roster.Mjs Brewers Desisti 5689 /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 03: Hunter Renfroe #12 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates a walk off RBI single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the tenth inning at American Family Field on October 03, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Here are the five best moves that were made for the Brewers during the David Stearns era.

3. Trading for OF Hunter Renfroe last offseason and offloading a bad contract in the process

After getting decent production from the right field position in 2021 in the form of Avisail Garcia, things weren’t looking pretty going into 2022. Garcia had opted to sign with the Marlins as a free agent, leaving Jackie Bradley Jr. to likely man the position.

Though he produced exceptional defense, Bradley Jr. had struggled mightily at the plate in his first season as a Brewer in 2021, hitting a miniscule .163 and striking out 30.8% of the time. That, combined with the $9.5MM he was set to make after exercising his player option, made it seem extremely unlikely that he would be able to be moved.

However unlikely a trade might have been, however, Stearns was miraculously able to pull one off. Right before MLB entered its lockout last offseason, Milwaukee was able to swing a trade, sending Bradley Jr back to the Boston Red Sox with two prospects for outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Not only were the Brewers out from under Bradley Jr’s contract, but they were also able to significantly upgrade on offense with the addition of Renfroe.

Renfroe would end up being one of the top offensive players for the Brewers during the 2022 season, leading qualified Brewers players in average, slugging, and OPS. And though he spent two short stints on the injured list last season, he finished just shy of giving the team three players with 30-plus homers, ending the year with 29.

Renfroe has one final arbitration year remaining that the Brewers get to decide whether or not to pick up for 2023. That decision is only possible, though, because of the unlikely deal that Stearns was able to pull off out of nowhere.

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