Looking Back At The Best Moves Of David Stearns’ Milwaukee Brewers Career

As David Stearns slides into an advisory role after serving seven seasons as the Milwaukee Brewers’ general manager and, later, president of baseball operations, here’s a look back at the best trades, signings and roster moves of Stearns’ Milwaukee tenure.

Dec. 9, 2015: Acquired RHP Freddy Peralta from Mariners

Stearns had been on the job just a few months when he sent veteran first baseman Adam Lind to the Mariners for three prospects including a 19-year-old right-hander whose only professional experience to that point consisted of 13 appearances in the Dominican Summer League and 23 over two seasons in Rookie Ball.

Three years later, though, Peralta had skyrocketed his way up the Brewers’ prospect rankings and when a last-minute need arose for a starter, Peralta got the call and made history by striking out 13 batters in his big-league debut on Mother’s Day at Coors Field.

He went on to play a big role down the stretch as the Brewers surged into the playoffs and worked three scoreless innings during his lone playoff appearance that season.

Peralta went through the usual growing pains of a young pitcher after that but has established himself as a cornerstone of Milwaukee’s rotation and one of the best young arms in the National League.

Dec. 10, 2015: Acquired C Manny Pina from Detroit

Pina came to Milwaukee as the player to be named later in a deal a month earlier that sent veteran closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Tigers.

Pina had spent 11 seasons in the minors, batting .256, and had only five big-league appearances at the time but earned a call-up late in 2016 when Jonathan Lucroy was traded and made his first Opening Day roster the next spring.

He’d be with Milwaukee for the next five seasons, putting up decent numbers but was highly-regarded for his work with Brewers’ pitchers and a major part of the team’s clubhouse chemistry.

Dec. 6, 2016: Acquired 3B Travis Shaw from Boston

Shaw had batted .251 with 29 homers and 107 RBIs through two seasons with the Red Sox when Milwaukee sent closer Tyler Thornburg to Boston for him and three minor league prospects after Stearns’ first full season on the job.

The move paid immediate dividends as Shaw batted .273 with 31 home runs and an .862 OPS in his first season in Milwaukee while Thornburg sat out the entire season due to injury.

Dec. 21, 2017: Signed RHP Jhoulys Chacin

After narrowly missing the playoffs in 2017, fans were hoping that Stearns would make a big splash during the offseason and try to land an ace starter to get Milwaukee over the hump.

Chacin hardly fit the bill but his two-year, $15.5 million contract turned out to be a stroke of genius after the veteran right-hander went 15-8 with a 3.50 ERA while leading all of baseball with 35 starts including 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in the Brewers’ 3-1 victory over the Cubs in the Game 163 tiebreaker to crown the NL Central champion.

Jan. 25, 2018: Acquired OF Christian Yelich from Miami

There were some who thought Stearns was crazy to deal four minor leaguers — including top prospect Lewis Branson — to Miami for Yelich but there were few naysayers to be found after Yelich put together a historic second half to lead Milwaukee to within a game of the World Series and become the first Brewers player since Ryan Braun in 2011 to be named the NL’s Most Valuable Player.

Yelich almost won the award again in 2019 but his season was cut short by a fractured kneecap. He hasn’t come close tp putting up similar numbers but his trade to Milwaukee still ranks as one of Stearns’ best moves ever.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewwagner/2022/10/30/looking-back-at-the-best-moves-of-david-stearns-milwaukee-brewers-career/