Outfielder Drew Stubbs is in line for a raise on his $2.825 million salary in 2013 as he is eligible for arbitration for the second of three years. Despite a solidified outfield with Michael Brantley in left, Michael Bourn in center, and the recently-signed David Murphy in right, the Indians are expected to tender Stubbs a contract, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. He would serve in a back-up role, but the Indians could always trade him at some point as well.
Depending on how much credit you give him defensively, Stubbs has mostly graded out somewhere between replacement level and average, according to both versions of Wins Above Replacement (2.0 is average) on FanGraphs and Baseball Reference. He finished 2013 with a lackluster .233/.305/.360 line but stole 17 bases in 19 attempts and has stolen as many as 40 bases in the past with the Reds.
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.