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  • Brewer General Manager Matt Arnold: Will He Be Here in 2024?


    Nate Palmer

    The Milwaukee Brewers made Matt Arnold their top decision-maker after David Stearns stepped down into an advisory role. Arnold is set to have his contract with the club expire at the end of the season. How could that effect the Brewers' 2023 season and beyond?

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    The Milwaukee Brewers 2023 season feels like a pivotal one as the window to make a World Series run with players like Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Willy Adames may soon close. While those three players specifically have some long-term uncertainty with the Brewers, the contract questions don’t end there. Those questions go to the top with the new head of the Crew front office. 

    David Stearns stepping down from his post as the top decision maker and moving into an advisory role was quite the shock to start the offseason. With Stearns no longer calling the shots, the succession plan saw Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Arnold take over that top decision-making role in the organization. While Arnold has taken on a different role responsibility-wise, that has yet to be reflected in his title.  

    In that move, it is potentially telling that the Brewers should have made Arnold President of Baseball Operations like his predecessor Stearns. Instead, opting to put Arnold in charge of baseball operations but with the same title as he had previously as General Manager. 

    No title change and an expiring contract at the end of the 2023 season make this an interesting season for the Brewers' new decision-maker. In what now sets up as almost a prove-it year, Arnold has spent little time making moves to make the Brewers a contender within their financial constraints. Arnold has notably made his mark in trades that have allowed the Brewers to acquire all-star catcher William Contreras, outfielder Jesse Winker, infielder Abraham Toro, and several pitchers. 

    Arnold also spent the Brewers' first free agent dollars of the offseason by bringing in old friend Wade Miley for some more pitching depth. Arnold’s long-term future hasn’t seemed to make him hesitant in making moves, although, to this point, everything given up has essentially the same long-term impact as Arnold’s current contract. Regardless, Arnold has quietly been steering the Brewers to a solid offseason.   

    What has transpired this offseason may only confirm what the New York Mets saw in Arnold when interviewing him for their open Chief of Baseball Operations position. It is also proof of what Arnold has learned under some smart front offices (Rangers, Reds, Rays) in each of his stops before becoming Stearns’ first hire with the Brewers.  

    As 2023 unfolds, it will be interesting to see if the Brewers choose to lock up Arnold and it will also be interesting to see if they allow Arnold to make a move with more long-term financial implications, like signing Woodruff, Burnes, or Adames to an extension. Also, if the Brewers are in contention at the trade deadline, what sort of trades will Arnold have the green light to go after?

    When the season ends, will the Brewers will give the Stearns understudy the keys long-term after so much success under his predecessor? This may be the transition into a new era of Brewer leadership.

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    9 hours ago, BallFour said:

    So when he signed an extension in 2021 it was for only 2 years? Why?

    Probably to line up with Stearns contract expiring in 2023.

    Believe Counsell’s contract is also up after 2023.

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    38 minutes ago, sveumrules said:

    Probably to line up with Stearns contract expiring in 2023.

    Believe Counsell’s contract is also up after 2023.

    1. That's what I believe as well.

    2. Yes, Counsell's deal is also expiring.

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    Important to remember they don’t have to announce extensions for FO guys or even managers. Often times it comes to light months after it actually happened.

    I seriously doubt the Brewers are going to have Matt Arnold lame duck in his first year. They could give him a three year extension and fire him in December without shedding a tear. He doesn’t make $20mil. If they lacked that much confidence in the guy he would even be running the team to begin with.

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    There is nothing about the way the Brewers operate to make me think he isn’t going to be here in 24.

    He turned down other offers to stay here for this eventuality………..you don’t hire a guy in that job for 1 year and then move on.

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    25 minutes ago, markedman5 said:

    There is nothing about the way the Brewers operate to make me think he isn’t going to be here in 24.

    He turned down other offers to stay here for this eventuality………..you don’t hire a guy in that job for 1 year and then move on.

    Probably, but I find it odd they haven't named him POBO if that's their plan.

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    3 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

    Probably, but I find it odd they haven't named him POBO if that's their plan.

    Would the job description change with the title change? I don’t think so. Isn’t the whole POBO title used to prevent teams from interviewing your GM for their GM role?

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    51 minutes ago, wiguy94 said:

    Would the job description change with the title change? I don’t think so. Isn’t the whole POBO title used to prevent teams from interviewing your GM for their GM role?

    Most teams use the POBO to add another layer to the front office; front offices have exploded in size over the past 20 years and more management is needed to handle all the scouts, analytics, development, coaching, etc.

    I'm most familiar with the Twins in this regard. Their POBO sets high-level instructions for development, approach, etc. but it's actually the GM that is more public-facing and agrees to terms on most contracts, that sort of thing. The GM seems to be more of a day-to-day manager.

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    20 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

    Most teams use the POBO to add another layer to the front office; front offices have exploded in size over the past 20 years and more management is needed to handle all the scouts, analytics, development, coaching, etc.

    I'm most familiar with the Twins in this regard. Their POBO sets high-level instructions for development, approach, etc. but it's actually the GM that is more public-facing and agrees to terms on most contracts, that sort of thing. The GM seems to be more of a day-to-day manager.

    Yes but those are all just titles. Can the Brewers not be doing the same thing just with different titles? Did Stearns role change when he went from GM to POBO for us or was that just to prevent other teams from interviewing him for GM jobs? 

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    39 minutes ago, wiguy94 said:

    Yes but those are all just titles. Can the Brewers not be doing the same thing just with different titles? Did Stearns role change when he went from GM to POBO for us or was that just to prevent other teams from interviewing him for GM jobs? 

    They could certainly do that with different titles but it all cascades down. Last I checked, the Twins also had two or three assistant GMs.

    Front offices are a lot bigger now and the titles generally reflect that. But, alas, they are just titles.

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