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David Stearns to the Mets? Why, who could have seen that coming? I’m Levi Weaver, here with Ken Rosenthal – welcome to Windup!
Mets hire David Stearns
“Because you’re finally mine.”
Sometimes just the obvious match works.
After recent (and not-so-recent) suggestions and fallout, the New York Mets have their man, hiring David Stearns as the team’s president of baseball operations.
Some quick info: Stearns, a 38-year-old Harvard graduate, spent some time in the Mets organization in 2008, when he worked in baseball operations. After stints with the league’s front office, Cleveland and Houston, he landed the GM job in Milwaukee in September 2015.
Success in Milwaukee didn’t take long. The Brewers have been to the postseason four times in the past 47 years. Under Stearns, they made the playoffs four straight years, from 2018-2021. He resigned after the 2022 season, but was not allowed to interview with other teams until August 1 of this year.
Now he is back managing the team he supported in his youth, and has inherited a very unique situation.
On the one hand, the Mets have had a tendency to find new and innovative ways to be a major figure in the sport — generally not in a good way — over the past decade or more.
But taking his small-market creative sensibilities to work for the biggest-spending owner in the sport — well, that sounds a lot like another step in the Dodgers’ scheme, doesn’t it? They hired wunderkind Andrew Friedman from the Rays in 2014 and have made the playoffs every year since, including winning the World Series in 2020.
“When Cohen bought the Mets in 2020, he set a pair of lofty goals,” Andy McCullough wrote in April. “He hoped to win a World Series within five years. He intended to remake the Mets into the East Coast equivalent of the Dodgers, the industry model in terms of dollars and development.”
Speaking of the Dodgers, here’s Kane…
Kane’s Notebook: Can the Dodgers’ rotation survive the playoffs?
From my article today:
Think back to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ early-season rotation — Julio Urías, Dustin May, Clayton Kershaw, Noah Syndergaard, and Michael Grove, with several backup options.
Tony Gonsolin, who was on the injured list recovering from a sprained left ankle. Top candidates are Bobby Miller, Ryan Bebiot, and Gavin Stone, who have decided to contribute at one point or another. Walker Buehler, who has been signaling a potential late-season return from Tommy John surgery.
The Dodgers’ postseason rotation will likely be Kershaw, who is dealing with a shoulder issue that has reduced his velocity and set his next start back five days; Lance Lynn, who leads the majors with 41 home runs allowed; And Miller, who has thrown 115 career innings between the majors and minors and has a 4.78 ERA in his last four starts.
The triumph of the Dodgers’ season was that they would once again win the NL West by a wide margin despite the collapse of their rotation and the injury-related absences of several key relievers. But with them in such disarray, how long they will last in October remains an open question.
It is considered:
• Urías is on paid administrative leave as the league and law enforcement continue their investigation following his arrest on suspicion of felony bodily injury to his wife.
• Syndergaard, after joining the team on a one-year, $13 million free agent contract, fell through and was traded to the Guardians, who later released him.
• He underwent season-ending flexor tendon surgery in July. Gonsolin underwent Tommy John surgery on September 1. Buehler jointly announced with the team last week that he would take a hiatus for the remainder of the season as it prepares for 2024.
• Oh, and to add literal insult to injury, Tigers left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez blocked a trade to the Dodgers at the deadline and has produced a 3.64 ERA in seven starts since.
The Dodgers have also been without reliever Blake Treinen all season, Daniel Hudson for most of the time and Ynessy Almonte since August 12. However, in a season in which they were supposed to be vulnerable, they are counting down to their 10th division title in the past 11 seasons, largely due to an offense that is second only to the Braves in running backs. And lest anyone forget, when they finished second behind the Giants in 2021, they won 106 games.
Their chances of winning their first World Series in a full season under Andrew Friedman seem pretty long, but wouldn’t that be the biggest thing in baseball ever if it actually happened?
The Dodgers are not without pitching potential for October. Pepiot, Grove, or Emmett Sheehan could start a potential Game 4 in a postseason series. The team could also use openers and Ryan Yarbrough as a bullpen pitcher. However, no matter how their interim plan looks, it will not be what the Dodgers envisioned at the start of the season. Not even close.
The tragedy of would-be angels
Every once in a while, you come across a story that stays with you for a long time. I think Sam Bloom’s story about Zach Krystovak will be one of those stories.
Krystofac is a 25-year-old minor league player in the Angels’ system, and his goal, as he puts it, is to “rewrite the Krystofac name.”
You see, when Zach was fifteen years old, he experienced an unimaginable tragedy. Just over a year after his parents divorced, his father killed his mother, Donna.
But as harrowing as that is, it’s what comes next — the outreach from the community and the support of its neighbors (you’ve probably heard of them; the Kiebooms, the Carters and the Spencers all reached the big leagues with the national team) — that makes this the kind of story that sticks. .
It’s a heavy story. There’s no getting around it. But Krystofac’s willingness to share it is brave, and his journey since the murder is inspiring.
“I can shed light on it,” Krystofac says in the story. “Because there is light.”
All-30: Rookie of the Year for each team
“We did that when we were kids.”
We love our preseason prospect lists, but it’s September now, which means it’s time to look back to see which of these prospects was the biggest contributor for each of the 30 MLB teams. In today’s All-30, Rustin Dodd does just that, listing one for each team.
• The first thing I did was move to Cincinnati. After all, they had it 16 players They are making their big league debut this year, and have a ton of rookies making big contributions in their playoff chase. You could make a case for Matt McClain (3.2 fWAR in 89 games) or Andrew Abbott, who helped stabilize a shaky rotation, or Eli De La Cruz, who was electric. Dodd went with Spencer Steer, who was worth less fWAR (1.8) but played in 140 games — most of them on the team.
• Some rookies are easy. Corbin Carroll (whom Eno Sarris profiled today) looks like a lock to win NL Rookie of the Year in Arizona, while Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson should win the AL version – an award that could have been won by Josh Jung If only he hadn’t broken his thumb. All three are on Dodd’s list.
• Others were not quite so clear. In Atlanta, where rookies have grown like wildflowers over the past few years, it’s Jared Shuster, who currently has an ERA over 5.00. Why? Because they got a total of 24 plate appearances from rookies this year. Al-Shabaab is over, they are all grown up now.
Handshakes and high fives
It’s Sam Bloom’s day at The Windup – he writes about Kyle Bradish of the Orioles, who had a breakout year.
Or maybe it’s Kyle Bradish’s day in The Windup, as he makes Keith Law’s “Players I’ve Been Wrong About” list.
Tyler Kepner examines the case for NL Cy Young Award winner Zach Gallen.
The AL West/AL wild card race is heating up. For the second straight day, the Rangers beat the Blue Jays and the A’s beat the Astros. The Mariners beat the Angels, meaning the Astros have a one-game lead over the Texans in the division, 1 1/2 ahead of Seattle. In the wild-card race, the Rangers And The Mariners technically passed the Blue Jays since both teams hold a tiebreaker advantage over Toronto.
By the way, the Braves — a team that has hired no less than Henry Aaron — have a new contributor to their single-season home run record. Matt Olson reached No. 51 on Tuesday, tying him with Andrew Jones.
In other executive recruiting news, the Nationals announced they have agreed to a contract extension with general manager Mike Rizzo.
Carlos Rodon’s first season in New York was an unmitigated disaster. The Yankees’ continued faith in him may be justified.
The Padres have suspended Yu Darvish for the season due to a stress reaction in his elbow. The Blue Jays didn’t officially Alek Manoah shut down for the season, but it’s starting to look that way.
Adam Wainwright is – finally – one win away from 200.
(Top photo by David Stearns: Lynn Sladky/The Associated Press)
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