Before becoming Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow spent years running the Cardinals’ farm system and today he acquired one of his former first-round picks, Tyler Greene, from St. Louis.
Greene was the 30th overall pick in the 2005 draft out of Georgia Tech, but is now 28 years old and hasn’t hit in the majors with a lifetime .218 batting average and .624 OPS in 227 games.
Not surprisingly it didn’t take much for Luhnow to add him to the Astros’ infield mix, with a player to be named later or cash heading back to St. Louis in the deal.
Greene hasn’t done much to suggest that he’s capable of being more than a mediocre utility man, although in between the big-league ineptitude he did hit .323 with 14 homers and a 1.001 OPS in 66 games at Triple-A last season.
It used to be that the top dog in a team’s baseball operations department was the general manager. That has changed over the past several years with some combination of title inflation, a genuine addition of supervisory layers and, on some level, employe poaching insurance leading to the top dog now being called, usually, a “president of baseball operations.”
Brewers’ general manager David Stearns is the latest to assume that tile, as the club just announced that he has been promoted to Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations. He has also received a contract extension of unknown length.
Not a big shock given how well the Brewers did in 2018, winning the NL Central title and playing in the NLCS. It’s also worth noting — with a nod to that “employee poaching insurance” item above — that Stearns has drawn some interest from other organizations. It’s thus not unfair to see the promotion is both a thanks for a job well done and a means of keeping other teams’ hands off of him, as employees are generally not given permission to interview for lateral moves, but are given permission to interview for promotions.
The Mudville Nine may have wanted to steal him from Milwaukee, but for Stearns to get a promotion from where he is now would require the creation of some other lofty title.