Freshly appointed Brewers general manager David Stearns held court with the media at Petco Park today, and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel runs down a number of the topics addressed by Stearns. Perhaps most notably, Stearns characterized his first impressions of manager Craig Counsell as positive. Building a relationship with Counsell is one of the first things on Stearns’ to-do list as GM. “It’s an enormous relationship, and it needs to be a relationship that has mutual respect and mutual trust,” said Stearns of the manager-GM dynamic. “So far, we’ve gotten along very well. … Throughout the entire industry, Craig has a very positive reputation. It was also clear that he was held in high regard within the organization and up through ownership.”
A bit more from Stearns and the game’s Central divisions…
- Also high on Stearns’ agenda is deciding on an assistant GM and an organizational structure, as MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy tweets. Via Haudricourt, Stearns spoke about the characteristics he’d seek in an AGM. “Ultimately, you’re going to want one who complements your skill set and helps you run the front office from a variety of different aspects,” he explained. Stearns said he’s spoken to a number of baseball ops executives that pre-date him, presumably including Ash, but has yet to come to any firm personnel decisions. “I’ve had conversations with a number of them and I think a number of them will stay,” he added.
- The Indians will have a number of roster decisions to make following the season, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Gavin Floyd, Ryan Raburn, Mike Aviles and Ryan Webb can all become free agents, and each has expressed an interest in remaining with Cleveland. Raburn could be retained via his $3.5MM club option, as the team will decide between that sum and a $1MM buyout. Hoynes also notes that Cleveland has as many as six, if not seven arbitration eligible players (depending on Jeff Manship’s Super Two eligibility). Closer Cody Allen, in particular, could be in line for a multi-year deal, per Hoynes, though that comment seemed to be speculative.
- Though adding some additional positions to his repertoire would help Dixon Machado’s chances of making the Tigers’ roster in 2015, the team has no plans to play him anywhere but shortstop, manager Brad Ausmus told MLive.com’s James Schmehl. The Tigers view Machado as a pure shortstop, though that complicates his path to playing time in the Majors due to the presence of Jose Iglesias. Nonetheless, Ausmus was firm in his belief: “Just a shortstop, at this point. I don’t know that I’d put Machado in the (Andrew) Romine category. Although he played third base a couple of games in Toledo, I wouldn’t throw him into a utility role.” Machado, the Tigers’ No. 14 prospect, per MLB.com, hit .286/.375/.404 across two levels in 2014 but has struggled in both Triple-A and the Majors this year. Scouting reports on the 23-year-old rave about his glove but wonder if he’ll hit enough to be a regular in the Majors.