David Stearns first worked for the Mets in 2007, when he interned with the team after graduating from Harvard.

His name was floated in 2018 for the general manager job before the Mets hired Brodie Van Wagenen.

And when Steve Cohen bought the Mets in 2020, it was no secret he wanted to hire Stearns to be a key part of his team’s front office.

But as the billionaire found out, no amount of money guarantees anything in sports. The Brewers — for whom Stearns was, by then, the president of baseball operations — wouldn’t let the New York City native out of his contract to take a similar role in Queens.

So both sides waited, Cohen declining to hire a president of baseball ops and Stearns — who grew up a Mets fan — stepping down from his position in Milwaukee after last season and remaining in an advisory role for the final year of his contract.

Mets owner Steve Cohen at the men's final of the 2023 US Open Championships of Novak Djokovic versus Daniil Medvedev played in the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center on September 10, 2023 in Flushing, New York.
Nearly three years after first trying to hire David Stearns into the Mets front office, Steve Cohen finally landed the well-regarded executive to work in Queens.
Annie Wermiel/NY Post

In the meantime, the Mets and Cohen —  who initially brought back Sandy Alderson to help run the team — had an unfortunate run in hiring GMs, first with Jared Porter (who was fired just a month into the job due to previous harassment of a female reporter) and then with Zack Scott (who lasted less than a year before being let go following a DWI charge that was later dismissed).

Current GM Billy Eppler took over after the 2021 season and Alderson stepped down as president at the end of last year.

Finally, on Tuesday, the long-anticipated news came that Stearns and the Mets had agreed to a five-year deal and Stearns would begin to reshape the Mets — who are 67-78 after Joey Lucchesi delivered a gem in Wednesday’s 7-1 win over the Diamondbacks — as soon as this disappointing season ends.

Now comes the hard part.

Stearns will be mandated with taking what he did with the small-market Brewers and building on it in New York, in a similar fashion as Andrew Friedman did with the Dodgers when he arrived from Tampa Bay.

At the top of Stearns’ to-do list with the Mets will be deciding whether to extend or trade Pete Alonso, with the first baseman heading toward his final season before free agency.

Mets Pete Alonso hits a home run in the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners at Citi Field..
The Brewers’ reported interest in trading for Pete Alonso this season suggests he may be in Stearns’ plans with the Mets.
Bill Kostroun for the NY Post

The Brewers showed interest in acquiring Alonso at this year’s trade deadline, so it seems Stearns is fond of the slugger.

Then he’ll have to deal with Buck Showalter’s situation. The 67-year-old manager is set to enter the last year of his three-year deal with the Mets. Brewers manager Craig Counsell’s contract is set to expire at the end of this season, so he may be a free agent.

And Stearns will have to fill several roles in the front office after the Mets fired several people last month, including director of player development Kevin Howard.

In Milwaukee, Stearns was known for typically making bold, smart moves in an attempt to best utilize the organization’s limited resources.

How will those lessons translate to the nearly limitless resources Cohen can provide?

Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers at bat during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at American Family Field on September 02, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Trading four prospects for Christian Yelich on the eve of his 2018 MVP season was a big reason why Stearns’ Brewers made four straight playoff appearances.
Getty Images

Of the two moves Stearns is likely most known for from his time with the Brewers, the highlight was the trade for Christian Yelich prior to the 2018 season, when he sent four prospects to the Marlins in exchange for Yelich, then 26 and entering his prime.

None of the minor leaguers — Lewis Brinson, Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison and Jordan Yamamoto — amounted to much in the majors. Yelich developed into one of the best hitters in the game.

On the other side of the spectrum, there was the ill-fated trade of closer Josh Hader to the Padres at last year’s trade deadline that devastated the Brewers clubhouse and helped cost the team a fifth consecutive playoff appearance.

Stearns also built a strong rotation in Milwaukee, thanks in part to a shrewd trade early in his tenure as GM, when the Brewers acquired minor leaguer Freddy Peralta in a package from Seattle in exchange for Adam Lind.

The following year, the Brewers drafted Corbin Burnes in the fourth round. Milwaukee was not known for drafting well when Stearns was there, but that was an exception.

Milwaukee relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) throws a pitch during the NLDS game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves on October 12th, 2021 at Truist Park in Atlanta, GA.
Josh Hader saved 125 games for the Brewers before he was dealt to the Padres last season.
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

And though trading Hader to the Padres backfired, Stearns was responsible for the closer’s arrival in Milwaukee in the first place: He traded for Hader from Houston, where Stearns had been the assistant GM under Jeff Luhnow.

It’s also worth remembering that Stearns had plenty of experience with winning organizations before he turned the Brewers into regular postseason contenders following decades of hardly sniffing October.

He spent three years as Luhnow’s assistant in Houston from 2013-15, and was credited with aiding in their turnaround following four straight 90-plus-loss seasons prior to reaching the 2015 ALDS.

Stearns left for Milwaukee before the allegations of the Astros’ sign-stealing began.

And prior to Houston, Stearns spent a season running Cleveland’s analytics department in 2012.

Today’s back page

The back page of the New York Post on September 14, 2023
New York Post

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A QB in full? Not for Jets

Aaron Rodgers started all 17 games for the Packers last season.

He lasted all of four plays with the Jets before being knocked out for the season with a torn Achilles.

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers #8, is helped off the field after getting injured in the 1st quarter.
Aaron Rodgers’ torn Achilles means the Jets are forced to alter their starting QB plans for the eighth consecutive season.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

And while Rodgers hinted at a return next season in an Instagram post Wednesday afternoon — “The night is darkest before the dawn. And I shall rise yet again,” he wrote — it shouldn’t come as much of a historical surprise that the team was unable to get a full season out of its quarterback.

The last time a Jets quarterback started every game of a regular season was in 2015, when Ryan Fitzpatrick was out there for 16 games.

The next season, Fitzpatrick led the Jets with 11 starts.

Josh McCown started 13 in 2017.

Sam Darnold took over as the starter in 2018 and never started more than 13 games in any of his three seasons at the helm.

And Zach Wilson, elevated again this week to QB1, started 13 games as a rookie in 2021 and just nine last year.

New York Jets Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) [7893] looks to pass down field during the New England Patriots vs the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was the last quarterback to play a full season for the Jets, leading them to their last above-.500 campaign in 2015.
Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty

The Giants have had only slightly better success.

Head coach Brian Daboll took some heat for keeping Daniel Jones in the season opener until the final series despite the beating he and the team were taking from the Cowboys.

Jones started a career-best 16 games a year ago, but the Giants haven’t gotten a full season from a quarterback since Eli Manning did it in 2018.

Even the Colts, who have gone through seven different opening day starters at the position in the past seven years, got 17 starts out of Carson Wentz in 2021.

Time for a change

Starting pitcher Carlos Rodon #55 of the New York Yankees throws against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park on September 12, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts
Carlos Rodon expanded his pitching repertoire In Fenway Park on Tuesday and posted one of his best starts of the season.
Getty Images

The Yankees and Carlos Rodon acknowledged Tuesday that relying on two pitches hasn’t worked this season.

“The fastball-slider combo seemed like it was getting pretty predictable, obviously,” Rodon said after he finally mixed in a season-high ratio of curveballs (14 percent) and changeups (5 percent) in five innings of one-run ball to beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park — one of his best outings of a miserable debut season with the Yankees.

Back in December, when the Yankees signed the lefty to a six-year, $162 million contract, the issue of being a two-pitch pitcher was brought up repeatedly.

When asked about it at the time, Rodon said his philosophy was to “try not to complicate things.”

“Keep it simple, stupid,” Rodon added. “If it gets outs, it gets outs. If it gets swings and misses, it gets swings and misses. Why change? If I’m getting hit around, it’s back to the drawing board. The fastball-slider [combination] has worked pretty well.”

Clearly, some time at the drawing board was needed. Rodon entered his start against Boston with a 6.60 ERA.

Carlos Rodon record a strikeout with a curveball against the Red Sox.
Twitter/@TalkinYanks

We’ll see if Rodon and the Yankees stick with the adjustments, especially because the Yankees — who are scheduled for a split doubleheader Thursday after Wednesday night’s rainout in Boston — have little to play for the rest of the way.

They can’t afford a repeat performance from Rodon next year.

Back in December, pitching coach Matt Blake had anticipated Rodon potentially needing to change his repertoire — just not in his first season in The Bronx.

“Just like [Gerrit] Cole is not gonna throw 100 [mph] the rest of his career, Carlos isn’t gonna be at 97 the rest of his career,’’ Blake said then. “It’s about being aware of these things on the horizon and being ready to pivot.”

That pivot seems to be occurring a lot sooner than anyone anticipated.

It’s due in part to the fact that Rodon’s four-seam fastball — one of the most dominant pitches in the game the previous two years — has been much more hittable this year.

Opposing hitters are slugging .558 against the pitch (which Rodon throws 60 percent of the time) this year, compared to .358 last year and .336 in 2021, according to Statcast.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon #55, gets a pat on the back from New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone as he was taken out of the game in the 4th inning.
Hitters have regularly been catching up to Rodon’s four-seam fastball and his slider, sending the Yankees big-ticket addition to an early exit on many nights.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

And his slider, an even more overwhelming pitch in ‘21 and ‘22, has slipped a bit. Hitters have a slugging percentage of just .350 against Rodon’s slider this season, but that’s up from .239 last year and just .126 in ‘21.

Rodon’s command hasn’t been as sharp this season, one of his main issues, which has led him to having to diversify his repertoire.

What does that leave?

Rodon has thrown his curveball just 5.2 percent of the time through Tuesday’s start, down from 5.7 percent a year ago, but up from 1.7 in ’21. The pitch has not been effective, with a 1.333 opposing slugging percentage in 2023.

And he has struggled to get traction with his changeup. The last time Rodon used his changeup significantly, with 12.4 percent usage in 2021, the pitch was hit hard (.367 average, .612 slugging).