The Padres’ GM search has been ongoing for more than a month (Josh Byrnes was dismissed on June 22), but it sounds as if the team is nearing the end of the process. In an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM earlier today, manager Bud Black told host Jim Duquette that the Friars expect to hire a new GM within the next 48 hours (Twitter link).
Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler has been rumored to be the favorite for the position, although Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller, Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen and MLB executive Kim Ng have been said to be finalists for the position as well.
Interestingly, assistant GM A.J. Hinch — one of the executives tasked with decision-making for the GM-less Padres over the past five to six weeks — announced today that he is leaving the organization. Hinch, along with fellow AGM Fred Uhlman Jr. and senior vice president of baseball operations Omar Minaya, helped to oversee the team’s direction at the trade deadline. However, in a press release, Hinch issued the following statement:
“During my time in San Diego, I dedicated myself to do everything I could to help this team win, in the short-term and for the long-term. These last several weeks were no exception. I think the organization is ready for a transition and I’ve made a decision and told [executive chairman] Ron Fowler and [CEO] Mike Dee that now is the right time for me to move on. I’m proud to have always operated in the best interest of the organization and to have established long lasting relationships with people who work on and off the field in San Diego. I wish the Padres and the new GM well in the future and look forward to the next chapter of my baseball career.”
Hinch was not considered for the team’s GM vacancy, although that was due to the fact that he withdrew his name from consideration early in the process. According to the Padres’ press release, Hinch will pursue other opportunities within the game.
Hinch, Minaya and Uhlman Jr. were behind the trades of Huston Street, Chase Headley and Chris Denorfia this past month, which returned prospects Jose Rondon, Taylor Lindsey, R.J. Alvarez, Elliot Morris, Yangervis Solarte, Rafael De Paula, Abraham Almonte and Stephen Kohlscheen to the organization.