Overall, Matt Arnold's first year at the helm has gone very well. He's made some moves that went under the radar at the time but have been a big help to this Brewers team over the course of the season. He's also made some moves that everyone knew was a great call at the time and turned out to be true.
No GM is ever going to bat 1.000, whether they're in their first year or their 20th in charge. Matt Arnold had some misses. The Jesse Winker miss has been costly to this team, although again the idea made a lot of sense and there was no reason to think Winker would crater like he has this year. The Chafin trade was also a bust that's continuing to cause some problems.
Still, the positives far outwieght the few negatives. William Contreras has been exactly what this team needed and that trade is on par with the Yelich trade that Stearns made. Elvis Peguero, Joel Payamps, Bryse Wilson, and Trevor Megill have all been excellent out of the bullpen. Wade Miley brings a big boost to the rotation while Julio Teheran and Colin Rea were great depth additions. Even with Chafin's struggles, the two bats Arnold got at the Deadline for a pretty low prospect cost have been just what the doctor ordered.
Combine those moves with the excellent Draft haul and the Brewers on the verge of clinching the division, and it's an A-grade first year in charge for Matt Arnold. Coming into the year, few thought this Brewers team would find themselves 20 games over .500 and starting to run away with the division, but it's happening because of the moves Arnold has made. The organization appears to be in good hands after the departure of David Stearns.
Arnold making a public statement earlier this year, too, that he wouldn't trade Corbin Burnes at the Deadline after all the speculation following last year's trade of Josh Hader was an important step as well. It's a refreshing change after the constant GM-speak that Stearns gave over the years.
Now Arnold may face some tough decisions on that front in year two in charge. With Burnes, Willy Adames, and Brandon Woodruff all a year away from free agency, he may have to make a tough decision regarding those players this winter. How will he position this team for 2024? That's what the front office is working on right now, but year one was a success for Arnold.