The Padres have fired Executive Vice President/General Manager Josh Byrnes, tweets Scott Miller of Bleacher Report/Turner Sports. The team has confirmed Byrnes has been relieved of his duties.
“This ownership group is committed to fielding a team that consistently competes for postseason play,” said Padres President and CEO Mike Dee in a statement. “Thus far this season, the results on the field have been mixed at best and clearly have not lived up to expectations. After a lengthy evaluation of every facet of our baseball operations, we have decided to make this change today. The search for a new General Manager begins immediately. We are looking for someone who can define, direct and lead this franchise’s baseball philosophy for years to come.“
The firing comes just two days after a report surfaced that Byrnes’ relationship with ownership had deteriorated. The Padres hope to have someone in place by later this season, sources tell Miller (on Twitter). Red Sox Assistant GM Mike Hazen has already been discussed as a possible replacement for Byrnes, tweets ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets the Padres have also discussed a reunion with Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers. In a separate tweet, Nightengale notes Towers (Padres GM from 1995 to 2009) is under contract in Arizona through 2016 but his job security has come into question with the hiring of Tony LaRussa. Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune (subscription required) lists five potential candidates: Towers, Larry Beinfest (ex-Marlins GM), Farhan Zaidi (A’s assistant GM/director of baseball operations), David Forst (A’s assistant GM), and Jason McLeod (a former Padre executive and currently the Cubs’ senior vice president of player development and amateur scouting).
In the interim, Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations Omar Minaya and Assistant GMs A.J. Hinch and Fred Uhlman Jr. will assume Byrnes’ responsibilities in what the Padres call the “office of the general manager.” Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets Minaya will be the point person for any trade talk. Miller reports manager Bud Black and his coaching staff are safe and is expected to remain so until a new general manager is hired (Twitter links).
The Padres have posted a 184-215 record since Byrnes was named general manager in October 2011 replacing Jed Hoyer. Per MLBTR’s Transaction Tracker, Byrnes’ two highest-profile transactions were acquiring Andrew Cashner from the Cubs for Anthony Rizzo and dealing Mat Latos to the Reds for a package of Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, Brad Boxberger, and Edinson Volquez. Byrnes has also handed out five contract extensions of three years or more during his tenure (Cameron Maybin, Nick Hundley – since traded to Baltimore – Cory Luebke, Carlos Quentin, and Jedd Gyorko), but was unable to hammer one out with third baseman Chase Headley.