3) NY Mets farm system is going to continue building under David Stearns
The best way to lower your team’s payroll is to build up from the farm system. This has been a mission of the Mets under Cohen. It wasn’t until this summer when the team really took a leap forward in terms of young talent under their possession.
The Mets have a shot at owning a top 10 farm system by the time next year begins. Many places think they’re right outside at number 11 or 12. As meaningless as it is to be number 10 instead of 11 on a list like this, it feels good to know the experts believe things are looking up.
Stearns is no stranger when it comes to valuing minor leaguers. He helped reset the Brewers for about a year until they were suddenly competitive again. The 2018 team made it to Game 7 of the NLCS with a roster featuring 30+ home run hitters Jesus Aguilar and Travis Shaw at the two corner infield spots and Jhoulys Chacin as the staff’s ace and lone pitcher to win double-digit games. This wasn’t a team full of stars but it involved a ton of fantastic pickups nobody thought were so obvious.
His biggest move of all came as a direct result of using the farm system to his advantage. The trade for Christian Yelich was a masterclass on asset usage. Yelich would win the 2018 NL MVP and finish second in 2019. Although he slowed down a ton in the years since, the Brewers didn’t give up all that much to acquire him from the Miami Marlins.
A Yelich type of trade feels inevitable during Stearns’ time with the Mets because, after all, not every one of those prospects will have space on the major league roster. Stearns isn’t going to Brodie Van Wagenen the farm system and trade away everyone. It’ll be a slow burn and continued betterment of the prospects even when some subtraction is involved.