6:12pm: The Padres have formally announced Preller’s hiring, with his official title being “executive vice president/general manager.” Lead investor Peter Seidler offered the following statement: “Padres ownership is thrilled to welcome A.J. Preller to the Padres family. His balance of experience, knowledge and energy makes him the ideal person to lead our baseball operations as we work to build a consistent winner in San Diego.”
1:48pm: The deal is done, tweets MLB.com’s Corey Brock. San Diego says it will make an “organizational announcement” at Petco Park at 4pm PT.
12:54pm: Preller has agreed to a five-year pact with the Padres, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Final details are still being worked out, but the agreement is in place.
11:59am: Preller has accepted the job, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
THURSDAY, 10:56am: The sides are still negotiating the terms, with Preller yet to accept the position, reports ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). Nevertheless, a deal is likely to be struck today, says Crasnick.
WEDNESDAY, 9:48pm: Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune hears that the Padres will make an official announcement regarding Preller’s hiring tomorrow.
9:11pm: The Padres have decided to hire Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller to fill their GM vacancy, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
Preller had been one of four finalists for the vacancy, along with Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen, Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler and MLB executive Kim Ng. Preller and Eppler were both rumored to be favorites for the job at different times, though the most recent reports had Eppler in the lead.
Instead, the Padres will go with Preller, who has been described as “eccentric” at time by peers, as Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune recently wrote. Krasovic also noted Preller’s aggressive nature when pursuing Latin American players on the amateur market. International scouting was said to be a priority for the Padres in their pursuit of a new GM, which led Peter Gammons to speculate that Preller could be the favorite. The Padres were said to prefer to hire an up-and-comer in the baseball operations world rather than someone with previous GM experience, and the 36-year-old Preller fits that bill.
This is hardly the first time that Preller was identified as a GM candidate. Back in 2011, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes interviewed Preller as part of MLBTR’s GM Candidate series, touching on topics such as the Rangers’ low-cost acquisitions of Colby Lewis and Nelson Cruz, the decision to move C.J. Wilson to the rotation and the challenges the team faced in trading former cornerstone Mark Teixeira to the Braves.