"I am not planning on filling that this offseason," he said at the GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz.
When pressed on why he wouldn't be filling the role right now, Stearns cracked a smile before elaborating on his decision.
"We've got enough going on right now," he explained. "I think we've got a front office grouping that is working well together. We're learning each other, and frankly that's a process that requires immense time. And so we'll tackle that at a different point."
As far as the departure of Eppler, which came amidst an investigation stemming from an allegation that Eppler improperly used the injured list, Stearns said it was "fairly stunning."
"That entire week was a little bit of a blur and clearly not what any of us anticipated," Stearns said. "Certainly not what I had anticipated. And then I think as we got towards the end of that week and we moved past, we realized we have jobs to do.
"And as an organization we need to move forward. And I'm really proud of the front office group, many of whom didn't know me very well at that point but were extremely professional, responsible, and helped us move forward very quickly."
Stearns also talked about the impact the loss of Eppler will have on the organization.
"It means other people are gonna have to step up," he noted. "It means that we're gonna ask other people in our front office to take on additional responsibility. And that's a great opportunity."
"People can step up in these situations, and I think we have a group that's very capable of doing it."
CARLOS BELTRAN TO BE SPECIAL ASSISTANT
Beltran, who worked in the front office as a special assistant to Eppler last season, will work in the same role for Stearns, the POBO told SNY's Andy Martino.
It was thought that Beltran might get consideration for the manager job that eventually went to Carlos Mendoza, but the Mets decided to focus on only external candidates.