Stearns has served as assistant general manager for the past three season in Houston.
The talking point for many news outlets is the fact that Stearns is 30 years old, making him the youngest general manager in baseball at this time. He isn't the youngest in MLB history, Theo Epstein (2002, Red Sox) and Jon Daniels (2005, Rangers) took over at the age of 28.
The more important is the fact that they are losing a tool that they've brilliantly thus far during the Jeff Luhnow era. Stearns, a Harvard University grad, has used his experience in the commissioner's office from 2008 to 2011 and as director of baseball operations for the Cleveland Indians for two seasons to work baseball's collective bargaining agreement.
The Astros walked the line with the CBA in numerous cases for the past three season to full advantage, most prominently with the Brady Aiken pick in 2014. Stearns was also the point man for the Astros during arbitration agreements, which was nothing more than a side story in Houston without any bumps in the road.
It's a compliment to have memeber of the front office sought after, but it also means that another team has the a simliar mindset as the Astros -- making the Astros' job hard.
Stearns replaced Doug Melvin, who has held the position since 2002.
Either way, best of luck to Stearns. Go beat the Cardinals.