October 27, 2022 was a big day in the history of the Brewers franchise. Seemingly out of the blue, David Stearns stepped down from his role as President of Baseball Operations.
The torch is now being passed off to Matt Arnold. He previously had worked his way up to General Manager and was Stearns’ right hand man over the past few years. Arnold will now take on the sole responsibility of making decisions for the Brewers. Stearns is staying in Milwaukee with an advisory role, but to what capacity or lengths he will be involved in is unclear.
After announcing the change, David Stearns and Matt Arnold held a press conference together. This gave them a chance to address the media.
Here are three big takeaways from that press conference.
1) David Stearns and Mark Attanasio had discussed this transition for quite some time as well as future opportunities
Stearns made it clear that having Arnold transition to President of Baseball Operations whenever he elected to step away had been discussed for quite some time. This includes prior to the outcome of the Brewers missing the post season and trading away Josh Hader. For Stearns, he indicated that the timing felt right. It will allow him to spend more time with family and exhale or get a break from the demands of the job.
As for future opportunities, that has been discussed as well. For now, Stearns is going to remain in Milwaukee in an advisory role. This isn’t to say that he is closing the door on other opportunities both now and in the future. Stearns is just 37 years old and should receive plenty of other baseball opportunities throughout his career. By rule, as long as Stearns is under contract with the Brewers, Attanasio has to grant permission for him to interview elsewhere.
Mets (or any other team) would still by rules need permission of Brewers owner Mark Attanasio to interview David Stearns, as he remains under contract 1 more year. Now that he’s a consultant you’d think permission would be granted, but still up to Attanasio.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 27, 2022
2) Dont expect any major front office or major league coaching changes
Throughout the press conference, Matt Arnold consistently talked about his relationships with the staff members that make up the Milwaukee Brewers. He seemed to acknowledge several times that relationships mean a lot to him. There also was a general impression that he believes he has a lot of the right front office and coaching pieces currently in place.
That being said, Arnold was specifically asked about manager Craig Counsell. He all but ensured that Counsell will be back for the 2023 season. He also does not expect any other major changes in regards to the front office or coaching staff.
Matt Arnold says he does not envision any other major changes to the FO and Major League coaching staff.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) October 27, 2022
3) Arnold’s organizational philosophy may operate similarly to Stearns
There is no denying that David Stearns did a lot of great things for the Milwaukee Brewers since taking over seven years ago. He has acquired a lot of good players and the team has been very successful. Unfortunately, he has just one deep post season run to show for it and his “bite at the apple” comments this year did not sit well with some players or fans.
That set the question up for a reporter to ask if Arnold’s organizational philosophy will remain similar to Stearns. The question essentially was is the philosophy “just get into the play-offs or will we see the Brewers go all in?”. Arnold’s response after the question was that he would have to have a conversation with Mark (Attanasio) and remain opportunistic. He also mentioned accessing the current assets and remaining competitive for years to come as factors to consider.
Matt Arnold says the organizational philosophy and how to remain competitive over the next several years is a “real conversation” that he will be having with ownership going forward.
“We need to be opportunistic and ultimately I think that will lead us to a World Series.”
— Curt Hogg (@CyrtHogg) October 27, 2022
Arnold now has the reigns on the Brewers with them in an interesting spot. They have 18 arbitration eligible players this off-season and some prospects knocking on the door of the big leagues. It will be interesting to see what choices he makes and how he sets them up for the 2023 season.