SEPT. 16: Lin reports that in addition to suspending Preller for 30 days, MLB has also fined the Padres an undisclosed amount (Twitter link).
SEPT. 15, 6:33pm: Despite the fact that other teams also complained, no additional punitive action is expected to be taken against Preller or the Padres, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports on Twitter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports adds a detail on the underlying issues, via Twitter. San Diego failed to disclose oral medications taken by Pomeranz and other traded players, he says.
6:12pm: The Padres have released a pair of statements on the matter. Preller says that he “accept[s] full responsibility” but claims “there was no malicious intent … to conceal information or disregard MLB’s recommended guidelines.”
Meanwhile, executive chairman Ron Fowler, managing partner Peter Seidler and president/CEO Mike Dee issued a joint statement. The club “accept[s] the discipline” and says it “will leave no stone unturned in developing comprehensive processes to remediate this unintentional, but inexcusable, occurrence.” The group of top officials state that they do not believe there was any effort “to mislead other clubs.”
The release also confirms that Preller will remain in charge of the baseball ops department. The trio of top officials say they will “work closely with him upon his reinstatement to ensure that this unfortunate set of circumstances does not happen again.”
5:15pm: Preller isn’t at risk of losing his post with the Padres, a “high-ranking club official” tells Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The GM has the “full support” of the team, per the source.
4:21pm: Major league baseball has announced a thirty-day suspension without pay for Padres GM A.J. Preller. The punishment was handed out as a result of a determination that he had failed to disclose required medical information in the trade that sent lefty Drew Pomeranz to the Red Sox in exchange for prospect Anderson Espinoza.
The league was looking into San Diego’s medical documentation and disclosure practices after questions arose at this summer’s trade deadline. San Diego already agreed to an unusual trade unwinding a portion of its swap with the Marlins, taking back injured righty Colin Rea after Miami learned about undisclosed medical information.
In a stunning report earlier this afternoon, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney documented an alleged decision by the Padres’ front office to maintain two separate databases of player health information. Treatment for ailments that did not require disabled list stints, it seems, were not logged in the central information repository that is utilized by teams in the course of trades — with training staff reportedly told expressly that the reason was to gain an advantage in trade talks.
Notably, the punishment apparently relates only to the Pomeranz deal. According to Olney’s report, at least three other clubs complained to the commissioner’s office about San Diego’s actions over the summer. It is not clear at this point whether further discipline could be pursued. This isn’t the first time that Preller has been reprimanded by the league, as he was also suspended back when he was an assistant GM for the Rangers. That case involved the international signing rules.
It seems fair to wonder at this point whether Preller will continue on at the helm of the Padres. In addition to the fact that he’ll seemingly be out of commission entering an important offseason, it’s fair to wonder whether the situation would impact Preller’s ability to interact with rival executives on future trades. It doesn’t help his cause that the club has struggled badly over the last two years, though the upper-level leadership of the organization has seemingly supported its youthful GM’s farm system rebuilding project, which seemed to be gaining some positive momentum of late.
As for the Red Sox’ interest in the matter, the league called the matter “closed.” And prior reports suggested that there was no effort on Boston’s behalf to revisit the terms of that deal or otherwise seek recompense.