David Stearns will be the first President of Baseball Operations in the history of the New York Mets when the season ends. He’s still with the Milwaukee Brewers until then. I’m as old as the franchise, so in a way, it’s good to see them trying something new that some baseball teams have been employing. We hear the salary will be around $10 million a season for five years. So why him?
Brewers Fans Love Him
Stearns is a New Yorker, but he’s been doing great things in Milwaukee. The Brewers will be a playoff team again this year. They rank 20th in payroll compared to the Mets, who are far and away the #1. The difference in payroll this season between the Mets and Brewers is $235 million dollars. Mets owner Steven Cohen isn’t trying to save money, but he’s looking for money better spent, and the organization needs to be built up from the farm system on up.
Shrewd Deals Are Missing in Flushing
Stearns acquired Christian Yellich from the Marlins for four players. He’s been there six seasons, and right now, he’s healthy again after 2 ½ mediocre seasons, but he did win the Hank Aaron Award and a batting title in 2019. Not bad, and he’s still only 31. Here are his best deals.
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The Brewers Farm System is Good
The Brewers have the 15th-ranked farm system under his watch. A lot of people are responsible, but he’s a part of it. Three players are in the Top 100, and Sal Frelick is playing with the big club currently. The Mets have bought some prospects by eating money in trades and they are ranked 11th. That has to be exciting for Stearns and if he can get the Mets into the Top 5, that would be a huge improvement since the Mets have taken a step back this season.
Stearns Needs To Sell Himself to the Fans
Most people in his position don’t have to interact with the fans. And maybe he won’t, but I think because he grew up in Manhattan, he should do that. Mets fans didn’t like the way this season went. They saw stars get traded for youth, which is fine if there were no expectations. But there were, and now Stearns has the job of either raising expectations again or going with the “watch our youth” play and we’ll do better next year.
The Mets have money, but they have many problems stemming from having to sign Pete Alonso or trade him if they can’t agree. Then they have to fill at least two starting and maybe three bullpen vacancies if they do it right. Stearns will get no grace period. He will need to get results early on.