MILWAUKEE — The Mets this weekend are playing the team constructed by one of the reported candidates to run their own: David Stearns, the Brewers’ president of baseball operations.
Milwaukee, however, has Stearns under contract beyond this season. On their way to the playoffs for a franchise-record fourth consecutive year, the Brewers are happy with him atop their baseball-operations department. Thus, a hurdle for the Mets.
"He’s a great executive. He’s outstanding. He’s also under contract with us," Brewers owner Mark Attanasio told local reporters Friday. "I think he’s one of the best executives in baseball. I think Craig [Counsell] is one of the best managers in baseball. If they were not under contract, they would have a lot of things they could do."
The Mets would have to receive permission from the Brewers before speaking to Stearns about their baseball leadership opening.
Stearns, a 36-year-old New York City native, interned for the Mets at the start of his career.
After trying but failing to hire a president of baseball operations last offseason, owner Steve Cohen and team president Sandy Alderson intend to try again this offseason.
Carlos Gomez, the Mets’ onetime wunderkind who became the centerpiece of the Johan Santana trade and returned for a 2019 cameo that turned out to be the end of his playing career, officially retired on Friday.
He did so as a member of the Brewers, the club with which he most identifies, becoming a two-time All-Star and winning a Gold Glove in parts of six seasons. Milwaukee signed him to a one-day contract and added him to their Wall of Honor. Gomez, 35 and a veteran of 13 major-league seasons, threw the ceremonial first pitch before the Brewers’ series opener against the Mets.
"I’m always going to be a baseball player in my heart," Gomez said.
During his farewell speech, during a news conference on top of the Brewers’ dugout four hours before the game, Gomez thanked the Mets "for giving me an opportunity to be who I am today." They signed him out of the Dominican Republic when he was 16.
Prior to his major-league debut in 2007, the 21-year-old Gomez was one of the top prospects in baseball. That offseason, in February 2008, the Mets traded him and three pitching prospects to the Twins for Santana.
The Mets nearly reacquired Gomez in the leadup to the 2015 trade deadline, on the night that Wilmer Flores famously cried on the field, having believed he had been traded. But the deal with the Brewers fell through over the Mets’ concerns about Gomez’s hip, and they wound up acquiring Yoenis Cespedes instead.
The last hurrah for Gomez was 34 games for the Mets two years ago. On a day when he hit the game-winning homer against the Nationals, he said, "I’m enjoying every single moment that God gives me to play the game that I love."
The Brewers also inducted former Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez, who was not present, and Yovani Gallardo into their Wall of Honor.
Daily deGrom (and Syndergaard)
Noah Syndergaard will pitch for Triple-A Syracuse again Saturday.
That will be the second of an expected two rehab appearances, putting him on track to be activated potentially as soon as Tuesday (a day before the two-year anniversary of his most recent major-league game).
Jacob deGrom threw all fastballs in a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday. With the Mets hoping he pitches in a game next weekend, he is due to face batters between now and then, likely around Tuesday.
"He talks about wanting to pitch all the time," manager Luis Rojas said. "At this point, why he’s progressing is because we want him to go out there and pitch so he can show that he’s healthy, he’s OK, everything is good."
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