The San Diego Padres have finally put an end to their pursuit of a new general manager, hiring former Texas Rangers' assistant GM A.J. Preller to fill the role. The Padres are scheduled to make an "organizational announcement" at 4 PM PT today, which will seemingly be the official announcement of Preller's hire.
Preller was among four finalists for San Diego's GM job. The other names in the mix were Yankees' assistant GM Billy Eppler, MLB's Kim Ng, and Red Sox' assistant GM Mike Hazen. As part of his agreement with the Padres, Preller will receive a five-year deal, per CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.
Since firing former GM Josh Byrnes from the position in June, the Padres have been run by the trio of Omar Minaya, A.J. Hinch, and Fred Uhlman Jr. The group was behind San Diego's trades of Huston Street, Chris Denorfia, and Chase Headley last month, netting the Padres solid returns, especially in the Street deal. Hinch resigned yesterday, signaling that a hire was near. The Padres also announced that assistant GM Chad MacDonald had left the organization earlier today.
Preller will take over a franchise that hasn't posted a winning record since 2010, and last made the postseason in 2006. A Cornell graduate, Preller was a fraternity brother of current Rangers' GM Jon Daniels in college, and has been with Texas for the last 10 years after stints with Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Philadelphia Phillies. The 36-year-old has been instrumental in the Rangers' organizational turnaround over the past decade, serving as Texas' International Scouting Director and Director of Player Personnel prior to becoming an assistant GM. He is lauded for his scouting abilities, especially on the international side, and played a role in the Rangers' signing of players such as Martin Perez, Jurickson Profar, and Rougned Odor, as well as Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz via trade.