While word leaked Tuesday night that the Padres had made their selection for General Manager of their franchise, they officially announced that A.J. Preller was their choice on Wednesday afternoon. Preller had previously been with the Texas Rangers where he served in multiple capacities, but most recently held the title of Assistant General Manager.
Preller is largely credited with influencing the Rangers activity in international scouting, where they've been extremely strong, securing talents like Jurickson Profar, Leonys Martin, and Rougned Odor, just to name a few. Also tasked with player development, Preller leaves behind a Rangers team that is loaded with prospects both international and domestic, and features talent at near every level.
The Padres search for a general manager was fairly lengthy, and saw many well-respected options withdraw, including members within their own organization such as A.J. Hinch and Omar Minaya. Hinch has since left the club. While the process for hiring a GM dragged on longer than one would normally like, it's difficult to criticize their final selection. Preller is respected within the game of baseball for his international scouting and player development chops, and was often mentioned as a GM candidate whenever there was an opening. Of the search and their final selection, Executive Chairman Ron Fowler stated:
I am extremely impressed with the quality of candidates who interviewed for this position, I believe that the comprehensive and thorough search process led by Mike Dee has brought us to the best match for our club in A.J. Preller.
Preller is the 10th general manager in Padres history, and is a graduate of Cornell University. He previously worked for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Commissioner's Office, and of course, the Texas Rangers.