If there is anything that we have learned about David Stearns as the top executive of the Milwaukee Brewers, it’s that he is not afraid to make moves that are risky and don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense at first.
In January 2018, he swung a blockbuster trade to acquire Christian Yelich from the Miami Marlins. While it came at the cost of top prospect Lewis Brinson, an outfield of Ryan Braun, Yelich, and Domingo Santana — who was coming off of a breakout 2017 season — sounded great to Brewers fans.
Then just a few hours later, Stearns inked Lorenzo Cain to a franchise-record contract worth $80 million over five seasons. Some fans were excited, but others were confused. It seemed like an oddly redundant move and perhaps an unwise use of resources. It created what appeared to be a logjam in the outfield. Either Braun or Santana, both of whom were productive players, now looked like the odd man out.
During that same season, Stearns identified a need in the infield. Instead of acquiring a second baseman, he made a deal to bring Mike Moustakas, a third baseman, to Milwaukee. Travis Shaw, who stands six-foot-four and tips the scales at 230 pounds, was going to move to…