Former Milwaukee Brewers general manager and president of baseball operations David Stearns reached an agreement to become the Mets’ president after the 2023 regular season ends, a league source confirmed Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:
- The deal is for five years, according to a league source.
- Stearns’ contract with the Brewers ran through the 2023 season. He stepped down from the position after the 2022 campaign and was allowed to talk with other clubs about a front-office position after the Aug. 1 trade deadline, multiple industry sources told The Athletic.
- In hiring Stearns, the Mets’ expectation, based on previous reporting, is for Billy Eppler to serve under him and continue as general manager.
- The Mets fired multiple people within their front office and across different departments at the end of August, league sources confirmed at the time.
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
What’s the first step?
Stearns’ first step is continuing the conversation Mets owner Steve Cohen and Eppler have had this season about the Mets’ competitive window.
Cohen has more or less retracted his statement, made in 2020, that he’d be disappointed without a World Series title in his first three to five years as owner. The Mets’ moves at the trade deadline, in shipping out both Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander and seeking prospects closer to the major leagues in return, have them set up to best contend around 2026.
At the same time, both Cohen and Eppler have said the aim remains to be “competitive” next season; Cohen has used the adjective “formidable.” Refining what those words mean in practice will define the Mets’ and Stearns’ course this winter. Does it mean committing longer term to Pete Alonso or continuing to listen to trade offers? Does it mean diving back into the starting pitching market in free agency or taking a step back and hoping in-house options exceed expectations? Does it mean handing everyday jobs to Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, Mark Vientos and Ronny Mauricio next Opening Day?
Creating a structured timeline is the first step, with everything else cascading off it. — Britton
Cohen said in June he wanted to hire a president of baseball operations. By early September, after the trade deadline, Stearns was believed to be “down the road” with his discussions with the Mets, per multiple major-league sources. But Stearns, one source said, had also spoken with other teams, notably the Houston Astros, whom Stearns worked for as assistant general manager from November 2012 to September 2015.
The Mets’ recent front-office shakeup was not related to the vacant president of baseball operations position, but it does clear the way for Stearns to bring in people of his preference.
Stearns is a New York City native who grew up rooting for the Mets.
(Photo: AP Photo / Morry Gash)