Looking Back At The Worst 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 five worst trades, signings and roster moves of Stearns’ Milwaukee tenure.

August 1, 2022: LHP Josh Hader to San Diego

Regardless of the Brewers’ success under Stearns, this deal — one of his last — will likely forever be associated with his time in Milwaukee.

Hader was, arguably, the most dominant closer in all of baseball and almost certainly to price himself well out of the Brewers’ comfort zone when he hit free agency after the 2024 season.

That made it a near certainty that Hader would, at some point, be dealt but most assumed that it wouldn’t happen until at least the offseason and would most likely involve a haul of top-notch prospects and MLB-caliber talent.

So it goes without saying that Stearns’ decision to deal Hader at the 2022 deadline, with his team sitting atop the NL Central, for two prospects and two relievers — one of whom would be designated for assignment days later without ever pitching for Milwaukee — a head-scratcher.

Aug. 2, 2022: Acquired RHP Trevor Rosenthal from San Francisco

Rosenthal hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2020, when he went 1-0 with a 1.90 ERA and 11 saves for Kansas City and San Diego. He missed the 2021 season after undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and a torn labrum in his right hip and was battling a hamstring injury suffered after signing a $4.5 million deal with the Giants on July 21.

Stearns could have signed the veteran at that time but instead, sent minor league outfielder Tristan Peters to the Giants just before the trade deadline for Rosenthal then suffered a shoulder injury during a minor league rehab assignment and never threw a pitch for Milwaukee.

March 8, 2021: Signed Jackie Bradley Jr (2 years, $24 million)

Though an outstanding defensive center fielder, Bradley put together one of the worst offensive seasons in franchise history after signing with Milwaukee on the eve of spring training in 2021.

In 131 games, Bradley slashed .163/.236/.261 with six home runs, 29 RBIs and a paltry .497 OPS.

Stearns caught a break when he dealt Bradley back to the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Hunter Renfroe just before baseball’s lockout began in December 21.

July 31, 2018: Acquired 2B Jonathan Schoop from Baltimore

Milwaukee’s infield was already crowded after Stearns swung a deal days earlier for third baseman Mike Moustakas, whose arrival forced Travis Shaw to slide over to second base.

But seeking to add one more right-handed bat, Stearns sent four players to Baltimore for Schoop, an All-Star second baseman in 2017 who’d hit 17 homers in 85 games for Baltimore.

In 46 games with the Brewers, Schoop slashed .202/.246./.331 with four home runs, 21 RBIs and a .577 OPS. He made six appearances during Milwaukee’s playoff run, going 0-for-10 with five strikeouts and was non-tendered after the season.

March 28, 2017: Waived 2B Scooter Gennett

At the time, the move was somewhat understandable as Gennett was a man without a position after the Brewers decided to move Johnathan Villar to second base after a dreadful transition from shortstop to third base.

Attempts to find a trade partner didn’t work out and despite having a minor league option remaining, Stearns opted to waive Gennett who went on to bat .295 with 27 home runs and an .874 OPS for Cincinnati in 2017 and followed that by slashing .310/.357/.490 with 23 homers, 92 RBIs and an .847 OPS in 2018 to earn his only career All-Star appearance.

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