The Mets reached a five-year deal Tuesday to make Stearns the team’s president of baseball operations once the 2023 regular season ends, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The New York Mets are hiring David Stearns as president of baseball operations, sources familiar with the situation tell ESPN.
A monumental addition to the organization, Stearns, 38, will take over officially once the regular season is over. The new era of the Mets begins soon.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 12, 2023
Stearns was hired as the Brewers’ general manager in October 2015 and was promoted to president of baseball operations before the 2019 season. Under Stearns, the Brewers made the playoffs in four straight years for the first time in franchise history — including three times when he was president — and the team fell just a game shy of the final wild-card spot last season. Stearns averaged 87 wins per season during his seven years in Milwaukee.
Stearns stepped down from his post after the 2022 season ended, and general manager Matt Arnold filled his place. Stearns has been serving in an advisory role with the club this summer, and his contract with the Brewers runs through the end of this season.
Stearns has also been linked to the Houston Astros, with whom he worked as an assistant general manager before landing in Milwaukee. His wife, Whitney, is a Houston area native, and Astros owner Jim Crane was reportedly interested in bringing Stearns back to the franchise. Stearns, however, is from the New York area and grew up a Mets fan. He worked as an intern with the franchise, too, and served stints working in Major League Baseball’s front office and with the Cleveland Guardians.
The Mets, who had very real championship aspirations entering this season, have struggled this year. The team holds a 65-78 record entering Tuesday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, which has them 10 games back from the last wild-card spot in the National League.
General manager Billy Eppler traded away a big portion of the roster this summer, including Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Tommy Pham and David Robertson. Eppler insisted that his trade-deadline moves weren’t a “rebuild” or a “fire sale,” but he also apparently told Scherzer that he didn’t think the club could be competitive until the 2025 or 2026 season “at the earliest.” Eppler will remain with the club under Stearns.
The Mets haven’t won a World Series since 1986 and have made the playoffs just once in the past seven seasons. They reached the World Series in 2015 but fell to the Kansas City Royals. The Mets have the largest payroll in the league by far under new owner Steve Cohen, and they paid nearly $111 million in luxury tax fees this year — more than what 10 teams paid their entire rosters.
Although Cohen's spending spree hasn't paid off yet, he's clearly willing to put up money to bring a title back to the franchise. It'll now be up to Stearns to make that happen.