Brewers: David Stearns comes on as GM armed with analytics background


The Milwaukee Brewers will go from one of the oldest general managers in baseball to the youngest after it was announced Monday that David Stearns, 30, will take over the reins of the front office from Doug Melvin early next month.

Stearns was introduced as the new general manager at a press conference at Miller Park Monday afternoon.

ALSO ON DAIRYLAND EXPRESS: Milwaukee’s Best: The Best Of Braves, Brewers

He has been the assistant general manager of the Houston Astros for three years after previously holding positions with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an intern while at Harvard and later working for the New York Mets and Arizona Fall League.

Stearns was with the Major League Baseball office from 2008-11, working on the negotiating team for the collective bargaining agreement, and in 2011 was named director of baseball operations for the Cleveland Indians.

More from Milwaukee Brewers

In 2012, he joined the Astros as assistant GM.

Stearns said Melvin would remain in an advisory role and that Craig Counsell, hired as manager to replace Ron Roenicke in May, would stay on, as well, and that Counsell’s status wasn’t a negative factor in accepting the position.

“No, I think given that Craig is who he is, that was not a hindrance,” Stearns told “It was probably an attractive part of this job.”

It is interesting to note that Stearns was part of a rebuild in Houston that was of the scorched earth variety. The Astros had three straight seasons of at least 106 losses from 2011-13, improving to 70-92 last season and emerging as a contender in the American League West this year.

Houston is 80-71 this season and trails the Texas Rangers by one game in the division race. The Astros currently lead the Minnesota Twins by three games for the second wild-card spot in the AL and have the AL’s second-best run differential at plus-95.

The Brewers face a steep uphill climb in a hyper-competitive National League Central that looks as if it will send three teams to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

The St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs have the three best records in all of baseball through Monday’s games and except for the Cubs, every team in the division has reached the playoffs at least once since 2011.

Houston GM Jeff Luhnow leaned heavily on advanced analytics to build a contender ahead of schedule with the Astros and Stearns laid out a similar plan for the Brewers.

“We want to be industry leaders and employ best practices across every function of baseball operations,” Stearns said. “We want to have the best scouting information. We want the best player development department. We want to use all the new information sources at our disposal and we want to be able to combine them in an effective and coherent manner to help our decision-making process.

“That’s what the best organizations in baseball are doing.”

Stearns will be familiar with some of the talent in the Brewers organization.

Milwaukee acquired outfielder Domingo Santana, a 22-year-old outfielder who has spent the last month with the major-league club, along with minor-league outfielder Brett Phillips, left-hander Josh Hader and right-hander Adrian Houser from the Astros in exchange for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers at the trade deadline in July.

Live Feed

Milwaukee Brewers: 3 Candidates to Get the Team's Next Contract Extension
Milwaukee Brewers: 3 Candidates to Get the Team's Next Contract Extension /

Reviewing the Brew

  • Brewers Rumors: Crew Fielding Trade Offers On Surplus Of Outfielders, Per MLB InsiderReviewing the Brew
  • How The Brewers Can Win In The 2024 MLB Draft Lottery Without Even Being In ItReviewing the Brew
  • Projected Brewers Starting Lineup Following Jackson Chourio's Contract ExtensionReviewing the Brew
  • The best things I heard at MLB Winter Meetings from Mets, White Sox and BrewersFanSided
  • What I'm hearing from the MLB Winter Meetings: Braves, Brewers, pitching market, moreFanSided
  • Santana came off the list of the top 30 prospects in the organization, according to MLB Pipeline, as he has lost his rookie status.

    Phillips is ranked as the second-best prospect in the organization, with Hader checking in at No. 14 and Houser at No. 27.

    And as far as being younger than five of the players on his current active roster?

    “Throughout my career, I’ve always been on the younger side for positions I’ve held,” Stearns said. “It’s never proven a hindrance for me and I certainly don’t anticipate the youthful appearance to hurt me in this one.

    “Trust me, I’ve had plenty of text messages in the last 24 hours to tell me that I will age tremendously over the next couple of years.”

    Next: Nelson Shut Down For Rest Of Season

    More from Dairyland Express