The San Diego Padres have hired Texas Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller as their next general manager, Ken Rosenthal first reported on Tuesday evening.
Preller and New York Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler were rumored to be the two finalists for the job, but Major League Baseball executive Kim Ng was also being considered. Had Ng been hired, she would have become the first female general manager in the four major professional sports.
The Padres will make the official announcement on Preller's hiring today.
The 36-year-old Preller has been working in the Rangers organization for ten years, working in various departments. He has headed international scouting, but currently is the head of both player development and scouting. He met Rangers general manager Jon Daniels at Cornell University, where they were fraternity brothers. Before working with the Rangers, Preller had jobs with other teams and Major League Baseball itself.
Preller seems to be a good fit for the Padres, considering the fact that he is known as a person that is good with stats. With the Padres' estimated payroll at $67.1 million, statistics will be crucial in bringing the team back to the postseason for the first time since 2006, or at least bringing them back above .500 for the first time since 2010.
That is already in the works. Since former general manager Josh Byrnes' firing on June 22nd, the three man team of assistant GM A.J. Hinch (yes, that is a coincidence), assistant GM Fred Uhlman Jr., and senior vice president of baseball operations Omar Minaya handled the Padres decision-making during the trade deadline. In trades of Huston Street, Chase Headley, and Chris Denorfia, the team was able to bring in prospects such as Jose Rondon, Taylor Lindsey, R.J. Alvarez, Elliot Morris, Yangervis Solarte, Rafael De Paula, Abraham Almonte, and Stephen Kohlscheen to the organization.
A.J. Preller has been a candidate to accept a general manager job in the past, but now with the San Diego Padres, who may not be that far away from winning, he will get his chance to run an organization.