Brewers tab Arnold as assistant GM
Former Rays pro scouting director is new GM Stearns' first hire
New Brewers general manager David Stearns has found his right-hand man, naming Rays director of player personnel Matt Arnold as Milwaukee's assistant GM on Wednesday.
Arnold, 36, had been with the Rays since 2006, first as a professional scout before a promotion to director of pro scouting in '09 to oversee that club's Major League and professional scouting staffs and manage the flow of information between scouts and the baseball operations department. He also oversaw Tampa Bay's biomechanics and human movement analyses at all levels of the organization.
Next season will be Arnold's 16th in professional baseball. He's also worked for the Dodgers, Rangers and Reds, serving four seasons in Cincinnati as assistant pro scouting director. In that role, Arnold's areas of expertise included financial planning and arbitration.
"He's really the perfect fit, in my mind, for this position," Stearns said on Wednesday in a conference call with reporters. "Matt brings an extensive amount of experience within the game in a variety of different positions. He's worked for a number of different clubs, for many different styles of general managers. That experience level will certainly serve him well in this role. He brings a skillset and a personality that I think are going to mesh very well with the culture we have in this organization, and in particular his skillset will complement mine very nicely, allow us to round out the front office."
Arnold is a graduate of the University of California-Santa Barbara with a degree in economics. He replaces Gord Ash, who was removed from the role Tuesday and will be offered a different job with the Brewers.
It's Stearns' first hire since formally taking over as Brewers GM on Oct. 5, and an important one, so Stearns turned to somebody he has known since his tenure in Major League Baseball's labor relations department. When Stearns moved on to join the Indians' front office in 2011, he and Arnold kept up their relationship.
"We've always gotten along well," Stearns said. "As I began to seriously think about what I was seeking in an assistant general manager and the skillset I wanted to bring to the organization, Matt's name kept coming up in a variety of different conversations, from a variety of different people, that I trust and respect around the game."
Stearns served as assistant GM in Houston for the past three seasons, and he knows well the importance of the role. He plans to implement a similar system to what he experienced under Jeff Luhnow with the Astros, having both the GM and assistant GM involved "across the entirety of the baseball operations spectrum."
"We're going to make sure we have multiple viewpoints across everything we do here," Stearns said. "And Matt's voice and his opinion is going to be heavily weighted across the board from a baseball operations perspective."
That input will begin with hiring a new farm director. While that process has no timetable yet, Stearns said Arnold will be "heavily involved," and the two already have begun talking about candidates.
As of Wednesday, Arnold already was at work for his new organization, and he will arrive in Milwaukee on Monday.
"I've been fortunate to be exposed to a lot of different elements of baseball and wings of baseball operations over the past 15 years," Arnold said. "So hopefully, with David's expertise, we can kind of blend our skillsets and make a great partnership together."