Stearns draws from Melvin's 'wealth of information'
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- On Monday night, Doug Melvin was honored by Major League Baseball general managers for his 20 years in the role, receiving the John Schuerholz Award. On Tuesday, new Brewers general manager David Stearns met the national media in his first session at the General Managers Meetings.
Melvin, now the Brewers' president of baseball operations, is in the role of advisor at these meetings. Stearns is one of nine new GMs at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. The Blue Jays and Marlins have yet to fill their openings.
There's been no rookie hazing -- at least not yet. Stearns is focused on getting the Brewers back on track and has met with teams and agents since arriving in Florida on Sunday.
"I'm pretty much handling all of that," Stearns said. "I'm in regular contact with Doug, and he's serving as a really valuable resource to me and he's been to many more of these types of meetings than I have. He was honored for being a [general manager] for 20 years last night. There's a tremendous wealth of information that I can certainly learn from him."
Stearns reached out to teams before getting to the resort.
"We probably started doing that over the last couple weeks, checking in with the rest of the clubs, and over the first day and a half here, we've been able to continue those conversations," he said. "It's a little bit of feeling guys out. It's been a productive day and a half."
What Stearns is looking for is balance in the Brewers' lineup.
"It's difficult to determine where that balance is, but from a lineup construction perspective to the ability to lengthen the lineup a little bit, certainly you'd like some semblance of a diverse skill set throughout your lineup," he said.
Stearns spent the last three seasons as the right-hand man to Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow. Houston led the American League in home runs, steals and strikeouts. Does that indicate the type of team Stearns is looking for with the Brewers?
"I think what it says about my approach, and a lot of guys' approaches in here now, is that you try to as efficiently as possible acquire the best talent you can, and you would love to acquire guys who can hit for power, can hit for average, who never strike out and are plus defenders and are fast," Stearns said. "But there may be one or two of those in all of baseball, and those guys aren't readily available in the open market.
"Every player who you're looking at has some semblance of a flaw," he said. "I'm not necessarily drawn to guys who hit a lot of home runs and strike out, but I also recognize those guys have a lot of value on the team. If those are the most efficiently accessible guys out there, then we'll pursue those type of players."
And he'll talk to Melvin as the process continues. Monday's award was well deserved for Melvin, who joined the Brewers in September 2002.
"It's quite an honor," Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty said. "He's a lifer, definitely a lifer."