San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller has been suspended without pay for 30 days for providing inaccurate medicals during trade talks, Major League Baseball announced.
Preller's suspension specifically relates to the Padres' trade of Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox, though the Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox and one other unnamed club reportedly complained to the league, believing that San Diego did not provide full medicals when completing trades.
Perhaps the most notable of these incidents came with the Marlins, when right-handed starter Collin Rea exited his first game with Miami with elbow soreness. The Marlins allegedly were informed that the Padres did not provide full details on Rea, and they returned him to San Diego for highly touted right-handed pitching prospect Luis Castillo.
According toESPN's Buster Olney, the Padres' inaccuracies with their medicals ranged just past their trades.
Major League Baseball has a centralized injury report system known as the Sutton Medical System. Here, teams report their players' issues, varying in degree from getting some aspirin to going on the disabled list and having Tommy John surgery.
According to Olney, most teams had approximately 60 entries in the Sutton Medical System by the All-Star Break. The Padres, rather, had fewer than 10.
When teams are close to completing a trade, players' identifications are exchanged in the system, allowing teams to see the medical history of a player they will be acquiring to make an informed decision as to whether they are worth trading for.
The suspension was handed down by Major League Baseball this afternoon. The Padres and Preller each released statements in response.
"I accept full responsibility for issues related to the oversight of our medical administration and record keeping. I want to emphasize that there was no malicious intent on the part of me, or anyone on my staff, to conceal information or disregard MLB’s recommended guidelines. This has been a learning process for me. I will serve my punishment and look forward to being back on the job in 30 days."
From Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler, Managing Partner Peter Siedler and President and CEO Mike Dee:
"We accept the discipline handed down from Major League Baseball earlier today and will fully comply with Commissioner Manfred's recommendations pertaining to changes with our medical administration and record keeping. Rest assured, we will leave no stone unturned in developing comprehensive processes to remediate this unintentional, but inexcusable, occurrence. To be clear, we believe that there was no intent on the part of A.J. Preller or other members of our baseball operations staff to mislead other clubs. We are obviously disappointed that we will lose A.J.’s services for 30 days, but will work closely with him upon his reinstatement to ensure that this unfortunate set of circumstances does not happen again."
Today's suspension was not the first of its kind for Preller.
In 2010, while the Texas Rangers' Assistant General Manager, Preller was suspended for three months for violating international signing rules. Since moving to San Diego, he again was reprimanded for conducting an international workout that is against industry regulations.