The Padres have dismissed manager Andy Green after nearly four seasons, the team announced Saturday. Bench coach Rod Barajas will replace Green for the rest of the 2019 season, making it a bittersweet day for fans of the early-to-mid-2000s Diamondbacks, for which both Green and Barajas played:
The 42-year-old Green posted a disappointing 274-366 record in his first major-league managerial job and never led the Padres to anything better than a fourth-place finish. In fairness, though, the team was in rebuilding mode for the entirety of his tenure, and especially at the beginning of his time in San Diego, he really didn’t have much to work with at all in terms of talent. And he was working for a San Diego franchise that has often operated without much of a sense of direction and has had a tremendous amount of difficulty achieving any real success. While the Padres have often displayed an impressive amount of patience with their managers and front-office figures, they’ve made the playoffs just five times in 51 seasons (four while Bruce Bochy was the manager) and have never won a World Series, so it’s hard to fault Green for just falling into the same pattern.
If anything, Green exhausted fans’ and management’s patience due to the fact that the team has failed to make a significant improvement this season after signing Manny Machado to a $300 million contract and graduating shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., starter Chris Paddack, and numerous other highly-regarded prospects to the major-league club. With eight days left in the season, the Padres sit at 69-88, just a few wins better than the 66-96 record they posted in 2018 with the potential of another last-place finish still in play.
The former utility player did not have a tremendous amount of experience before being hired by the Padres — he managed in the minors from 2012-14 and served as the Diamondbacks’ third-base coach in 2015 — so he definitely still has the potential to end up being a good major-league manager somewhere else later on if he’s willing to put in the work to earn another chance. After all, few would’ve believed that A.J. Hinch would end up amounting to much after he was fired at 36 years old, owning an 89-123 record over two seasons with the Diamondbacks, in 2010. Obviously, he’s now considered to be one of the best managers in baseball. Sometimes it just takes time.
This will be the first crack at managing in the big leagues (albeit in an interim capacity) for the 44-year-old Barajas, a 14-year major-league veteran. He’s a fast-rising coaching prospect, but he has worked his way up the latter, managing at three different minor-league stops over four seasons (Arizona Rookie League, Double-A, and Triple-A) before joining Green’s staff as the bench coach prior to last season.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Padres make any sort of effort to hire Bochy — who is set to retire after a 25-year managerial career, including the last 13 with the division-rival Giants — for a second tour of duty. While he announced his retirement prior to the season on the heels of his contract being scheduled to expire and a new president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi, being hired in San Francisco, he’s done a pretty impressive job with a Giants club that is effectively rebuilding this year, leading them to a 74-80 record and keeping them in wild-card contention for a large chunk of the second half. He still lives in San Diego during the offseason, and it’s never a bad call to bring back the winningest manager in the history of your franchise (951-975 over 12 years in San Diego). With that said, the 64-year-old has dealt with numerous health issues in recent years, and until we’re told otherwise, it does legitimately seem like he’s ready to take a step back after a long, Hall of Fame-caliber career.
Bench Coach Rod Barajas will serve as interim manager for the rest of the 2019 season.— San Diego Padres (@Padres) September 21, 2019