Brewers hire 36-year-old Matt Arnold as vice president and assistant GM
New Milwaukee Brewers general manager David Stearns has made his first significant addition to the front office with the hiring of Matt Arnold as vice president and assistant general manager.
Stearns made it sound on Wednesday as if Arnold would be his equal when it comes to the wide-ranging decisions that come with retooling the Brewers.
"Matt is going to be the sole assistant general manager. We’re really going to run the baseball operations group as a partnership," said Stearns, who is in his second full week on the job.
Arnold, 36, joins Milwaukee following about nine years with the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization. He most recently served as the Rays’ director of player personnel.
Stearns says Arnold has been involved in nearly every area of baseball operations during his career, including contract negotiation and farm system evaluation. Arnold’s resume also includes stops with the Dodgers, Rangers and Reds.
The addition of Arnold is the latest step in an organization-wide youth movement following Milwaukee’s first 90-loss season since 2004. Stearns, 30, succeeded baseball lifer Doug Melvin, who retired and moved on to an advisory role with the club.
Arnold’s baseball career is rooted in scouting. He joins the Brewers after working with a small-market Rays organization known for developing young talent.
"He’s going to have input and impact across the entirety of the baseball operations spectrum," Stearns said in a conference call.
For Stearns, the model for putting together his first front office is Houston, where he served as an assistant under GM Jeff Luhnow. They oversaw the rebuilding of a team that rose went from consecutive 100-loss seasons in 2012-13 to playoff contender this season.
The intention is not to duplicate the Astros’ structure, Stearns said, though "what Jeff Luhnow set out in Houston with the way he created my position … is certainly something that I thought a lot about in terms of how I want things to function here."
"You have two people who are involved in all aspects of the operation and really, made sure that nothing falls through the cracks," he added.
The Brewers on Tuesday dismissed their farm director and reassigned longtime assistant GM Gord Ash, who both served under Melvin.