This offseason, the Milwaukee Brewers sent starting shortstop Jean Segura to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a few prospects before dumping starting outfielder Khris Davis to Oakland for a similar return.
The moves came in the first offseason as a general manager for David Stearns, the youngest active general manager in the Major Leagues who was given his job last September at just 30-years-old, and it signaled a strong intent to rebuild rather than keep the status quo of mediocrity.
Stearns joined Tiki And Tierney to discuss rebuilding efforts ahead of the 2016 MLB season. First, Stearns says the Brewers’ fans are sophisticated and understand why the team would ship starters for minor league players.
“I think one of the things that we’re very fortunate about is that we have a really knowledgeable fan base,” said Stearns. “A fan base that understands the situation we’re in, understands our market, is very loyal to this organization and this team.”
Before getting the job with the Brewers, Stearns worked in the front office for the Houston Astros, who endured a rebuild before arriving as a contender ahead of schedule last season, making the playoffs.
“I’ve been through situations where not a lot was expected of us at the Major League level,” said Stearns. “We were able to get things going in the right direction and turn things around at a pretty good clip. Certainly last year not a lot was expected of the Astros coming into the season and they surprised a lot of people.”
Tierney asked Stearns why one of their best players, Jonathan Lucroy, would still be on the roster if other starters were leaving. Why not go all the way with the rebuild, especially with rumors that Lucroy wants out if they’re rebuilding?
“I think Jonathan has expressed a desire to win and that’s something that ultimately we all share,” said Stearns. “He’s a very competitive person, he’s a passionate person, he cares about winning. Frankly, I applaud that and I hope our entire organization and entire team shares that commitment to do everything we can to get this on the right track.”
Teams have called asking for Lucroy’s availability, the general manager confirmed. Stearns said he entertained the idea, but never really got too far in negotiations and is currently holding the opinion that the catcher should stay.
“The fact with Jonathon is that he’s a really good player, he’s a very valuable player,” said Stearns. “He’s valuable to us and whenever you have valuable players, you get calls on them from other teams. So that’s natural, and we have fielded some on him, but at this point we think it’s in everyone’s best interest for Jonathan to be a Milwaukee Brewer and we’re excited to have him as our catcher.”
The fans have seemed to take to Ryan Bruan, the player suspended for steroids after lying to everyone and launching a personal attach on the sampler.
“Ryan has contributed to a number of very proud, somewhat historic, moments for this franchise,” said Stearns. “Our fans recognize that, our fans support that. It’s certainly my impression that our fans enjoy having Ryan on the team.”
So they’ve forgiven him?
“I think that’s right, I think they have,” said Stearns.