Padres Notes: GM Search, Byrnes, Cashner

Following the dismissal of GM Josh Byrnes over the weekend, the Padres are believed to be looking at external candidates, ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports (Insider subscription required). In fact, Bowden writes, Padres ownership is believed to prefer a first-time GM with vision. Ownership is looking for an up-and-coming executive from a successful organization. Bowden lists five candidates that he feels fit that bill and provides some background on why each would be a success as a GM. His list includes Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine, A’s assistant GM David Forst, Cubs VP of player development & amateur scouting Jason McLeod, Tigers assistant GM Al Avila, and Yankees director of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer.

After a tumultuous weekend in San Diego, here’s more on the Padres…

  • Byrnes joined Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM and discussed the end of his tenure (audio link). Asked if he was surprised, Byrnes replied, “Not really. I think there’s been an awful lot of change here as the new owners have come in and Mike Dee has come in.  There’s going to be attention focused on baseball as there should be – we’re a baseball organization.  …[T]here were higher expectations and, you know, we were not having a good season.  …[W]hen you are an inherited GM and your team is not winning enough these things can happen.” Asked about reports of his deteriorating relationship with ownership, Byrnes said, “I probably don’t want to go there,” but suggested that he and ownership didn’t get on the same page regarding the team’s identity.
  • Dave Cameron of Fangraphs looks at comments from CEO Mike Dee stating that the team hadn’t lived up to expectations and wonders where those expectations came from. Cameron looks back to the offseason and notes that few pundits and fans expected the Padres to be good this season. He opines that the Padres probably did need a change at the top, as they weren’t building for the future nor were they built to win right now, and that, not falling shy of misguided expectations, should have been the motivation for the change.
  • Byrnes was only a small part of the Padres’ problem, writes Matt Calkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune.  The Padres gave Byrnes the greenlight to spend more last offseason but their ~$90MM payroll put them at just 21st in the league. Much of the additional funds went to arbitration raises rather than external additions, Calkins notes, making the talk of increased payroll a bit misleading.
  • Many Padres players were unhappy to hear of Byrnes’ firing, writes’s Will Laws.  “It’s sad to see Josh go,” said starting pitcher Andrew Cashner, who was acquired by Byrnes in a trade with the Cubs for Anthony Rizzo in January 2012. “He gave me an opportunity to start here and I’m grateful for that. But it’s out of my control.”
  • Speaking of Cashner, the club announced today that he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with soreness in his right shoulder. Odrisamer Despaigne will take his place on the active roster, while Casey Kelly has been transferred to the 60-day DL to create room on the 40-man roster. Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune hears that the decision to place Cashner on the disabled list was more of a precaution than anything (Twitter link). Sanders adds that Cashner could pitch right now if needed, but given the state of the team, it made more sense to play it safe.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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