Padres Notes: Byrnes, Black, Whitson

It’s been a busy day in San Diego with the firing of GM Josh Byrnes. Here are a few notes on the Padres.

  • Byrnes’ firing “begs for an explanation,” Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes. Byrnes hadn’t been on the job long enough (less than three years) to follow through on a plan, and Heyman notes that the only winning team with a payroll lower than the Padres’ right now is the Athletics. The Padres’ new owners seem to believe that this year’s Friars should have been a top team, Heyman writes. Byrnes has a good record with trades, and while some of the extensions to which he’s signed younger players haven’t worked, he received praise for the Jedd Gyorko deal, in particular, when it happened.
  • The Padres do not have any immediate plans to fire manager Bud Black or hitting coach Phil Plantier, Heyman tweets.
  • The Padres made the right move in firing Byrnes, MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince argues. With the trade deadline fast approaching, the Padres needed to act quickly if they had questions about Byrnes. Castrovince says that the Padres’ new interim GM setup, with Omar Minaya, Fred Uhlman Jr. and A.J. Hinch occupying the position jointly, will be interesting, given that the trade deadline could help shape the Padres’ future.
  • Karsten Whitson, an 11th-round pick in this year’s draft by the Red Sox, signed recently for $100K, losing out on $2MM after he reportedly rejected a $2.1MM offer when the Padres drafted him in 2010. But Whitson doesn’t regret his decision to attend the University of Florida, Fangraphs’ David Laurila reports. “My time at Florida was great,” Whitson says. “I went to the College World Series, won two SEC championships, and graduated [with a degree in psychology]. It was a very tough decision, but after doing some self reflection I though it was the right choice.” Whitson underwent a shoulder injury during his time at Florida that limited his bonus potential. He says he and the Padres (who were then run by Jed Hoyer, not Byrnes) did not discuss bonus parameters before they drafted him.

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