It's been nearly a year since David Stearns' shocking announcement that he was stepping down as the Brewers president of baseball operations and into an advisory role for the final year of his contract. That move left Matt Arnold in charge as the Brewers lead decision maker.
While Arnold was not new to the organization or the GM title, this is Arnold's first year as the man who makes the final decisions regarding the roster. How has he done in his first year?
The Brewers currently hold a comfortable lead in the NL Central and are just days away from locking up an NL Central title, so things seem to have gone pretty well, but let's take a closer look.
Grading Matt Arnold's first year being in charge of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Free Agency: B+
The Brewers didn't dip their toes in the free agent waters until January in Matt Arnold's first offseason at the helm. When they did, they got some solid pieces to fill out their roster from the players left available on the market.
Arnold's first free agent signing was Wade Miley. That's clearly worked out as Miley has been a valuable piece of this team both on the mound and in the clubhouse as a veteran leader. His teammates love him and he's turned in a stellar year with a 3.38 ERA in 21 starts. Not bad for a guy who was considering retirement.
Arnold followed that with signing Brian Anderson, who was a useful piece in the first half and had some really good moments. He's fallen out of favor lately but for the price he was signed for, this was another positive move. The Justin Wilson signing was a good idea, planning to have him back around the Trade Deadline, removing the need to trade for an arm, but Wilson unfortunately suffered another injury just as he was returning.
Those were the only major league signings, but a couple of minor league signings in free agency also paid off. Colin Rea has been a valuable addition, saving the rotation's bacon when injuries happened early on and keeping the Brewers in the game each time out. Luke Voit and Thyago Vieira were two other minor league signings of note. Voit didn't really work out and Vieira looked good before an injury.
Overall these were some solid moves, but there wasn't much in free agency that Arnold did. THe Miley signing was strong through, carrying Arnold to a grade of B+.