How new GM David Stearns can fix the New York Mets

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

New York Mets president David Stearns has been hailed as a conquering hero, one who has been the rumored target to run the team since owner Steve Cohen bought the franchise three years ago. Stearns has an excellent résumé from his time as general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers along with training in the Cleveland Guardians and Houston Astros front offices after a brief stop with the Mets early in his career.

But for all the hype that comes with taking over in New York, which Stearns will officially do in early October after the regular season ends, there is also the reality that running the Mets will be more complicated than running the Brewers was for some very clear, big-picture reasons. He will now be working in baseball's biggest media market, managing the sport's biggest payroll, running a veteran team and making decisions for a club with a number of potential paths forward coming off a disappointing 2023 season.

There are some potential challenges here for Stearns that go beyond the strategy that he and Cohen decide to pursue as he moves from a small-market club with a small payroll, few stars and little pressure to the exact opposite kind of environment. On top of that, Stearns now inherits someone else's players and front office personnel (though there are some open spots he'll get to fill this offseason) and will have to make all of this work with a demanding owner peering over his shoulder.

Here's how I think Stearns might attack the various mandates that could come down from Cohen, or, if he really has been given total control, potential options Stearns himself might choose to pursue: