Saturday, September 23, 2023

David Stearns will be the Mets’ president of operations


NEW YORK – The Mets have been searching for a president of baseball operations for several years and finally found one on Tuesday, when the team reached a five-year agreement with the Brewers manager and New York native David Stearns, according to a source.

The team has not confirmed the hiring and is not expected to formally introduce Stearns until after the regular season, a source said.

The deal closes a long chapter in the Mets’ search for a top executive to run baseball operations, which began when Steve Cohen bought the team in November 2020. Since then, the Mets have relied on four different people. , including Sandy Alderson, Jared Porter, Zack Scott and Billy Eppler.

The organization now hopes that Stearns will be a long-term answer. A childhood Mets fan and graduate of Harvard University, Stearns began his baseball career as an intern with the Mets when Omar Minaya managed them, before moving to the MLB front office, the Guardians, and finally, to the Astros as assistant general. manager. Stearns then became GM of the Brewers, a small-market team that he took to the postseason four straight years from 2018 to 2021. Eventually, Stearns earned a promotion to president of baseball operations at Milwaukee.

After the 2022 season, Stearns resigned from that position to take an advisory role, in what many around the game saw as a prerequisite for his permanent lease in Flushing. The parties started negotiations recently, before reaching an agreement on Tuesday.

In New York, Stearns will work to revamp a roster that won 101 games last season but stumbled this year, trading key pieces to Deadline. He also had to discuss the futures of Eppler, who remains under contract as GM and may remain in that role, and manager Buck Showalter, who has one year left on his contract.

The Mets will depend on Stearns to make these and other decisions to reorient the franchise after a disappointing 2023 campaign that followed a record spending spree on winter contracts. Injuries to Edwin Díaz and Justin Verlander weakened the Mets, who also received disappointing performances from several key veterans. Instead of sticking with the same strategy amid an uncertain future, Cohen and Eppler chose to trade Verlander, Max Scherzer and several other veterans.

Cohen set his sights on Stearns.

“I’m always open to ideas,” the owner said last month when asked about his desire to hire a president of baseball operations. “I talked to Billy. He fully supports me. “It’s just a matter of finding the right person.”

The Mets believe Stearns is the perfect man to accomplish that mission. In Milwaukee, Stearns took over a Brewers team that was coming off a fourth-place finish and quickly turned things around through a series of transactions — including a 2018 trade for Christian Yelich, who won the league MVP. National in his first season in Milwaukee. Stearns finished second in MLB Executive of the Year voting in 2018, and then made the playoffs again the following season.

Under Stearns, the Brewers have finished in first or second place every full season from 2018 to now.

“When you hear the name ‘David Stearns,’ you think of Harvard and just the intelligence of his approach,” said Mets reliever Phil Bickford, who played under Stearns from 2020-2021. in Milwaukee. “Change can be exciting.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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