Padres president of baseball operations and GM A.J. Preller received a strong vote of confidence from ownership, reports Dennis Lin of The Athletic (subscription required). San Diego Chairman Peter Seidler told Lin that Preller’s job is “as safe as a GM’s job can be.” Seidler added: “I one-hundred percent believe in [Preller], one-hundred percent trust him. And that’s not because I’m blindly loyal.”
That Preller is likely to continue leading the team for the long term hardly qualifies as a surprise. It was just eight months ago that the club extended Preller’s contract through the 2026 season and added the PBO designation to his title.
The Padres, of course, are looking for a new manager after firing second-year helmer Jayce Tingler yesterday. Last year, Tingler led San Diego to their first playoff appearance since 2006 and first postseason series win since 1998. But the club’s second-half collapse in 2021, along with reports of tensions in the clubhouse, led to his dismissal. Tingler was offered the opportunity to remain with the team in an as-yet-undetermined capacity, and Seidler said he hopes Tingler decides to stay. He added that the rest of the coaching staff has been given permission to look for opportunities elsewhere.
Seidler also told Lin that Preller alone will decide who the club’s next manager will be. He said that while he and Preller recognize the value of major league managing experience, that won’t be a prerequisite for the new hire. “As we did when we hired Jayce, we put a premium on people with experience,” Seidler said. “But I would rather get the right 34-year-old than the wrong 64-year-old.”
Seidler’s comment regarding a new manager not needing prior big league managing experience is sure to raise eyebrows among at least some Padres fans. Since being hired as GM in 2014, Preller has tabbed two permanent managers, Tingler and his predecessor Andy Green. Neither had managed an MLB club prior to joining the Padres. There’s been plenty of speculation the Padres could zero in on a more veteran skipper this time around, but it doesn’t sound as if ownership or Preller consider that an absolute necessity.