We’ve thought big when it came to David Stearns and his connection to the Milwaukee Brewers. Could it mean he trades for Corbin Burnes? Josh Hader in the bullpen would be a dream come true. What about hiring Craig Counsell to become the manager? All reasonable expectations and still a possibility for that first one although more likely a free agent target next offseason, the New York Mets are actually in a position to add three other former Brewers instead.
Looking elsewhere, it’s these three players who once played under Stearns for him to consider reuniting with in Queens.
1) Brandon Woodruff
The free agent everyone and their mother are talking about, Brandon Woodruff was non-tendered by the Brewers and is now available for any team willing to accept the details. Woodruff could possibly miss all, if not most of the coming season. The expectation is a team can sign him to a reasonable amount for the 2024 season with a team option for 2025. The Mets have done this recently with much less significant pitchers. It could be time to do it with a bigger one.
Woodruff has been a reliable pitcher for the Brewers for several seasons. A record of 46-26 and 3.10 ERA has only been overshadowed by how dominant ex-teammate Burnes was in some of those seasons. The Brewers have done a fantastic job at developing pitchers during the Stearns regime. Woodruff is one of the better ones.
The risk is obvious. When Woodruff is healthy, he’s good. When he’s not healthy, you get nothing.
Some team will roll the dice with Woodruff. The Mets make a lot of sense with their approach of trying to win this year with a heavier focus on 2025 if that is indeed still the plan.