It never hurts to ask.
Wasn’t it part of the agreement, when the Padres hired A.J. Preller away from the Texas Rangers, that San Diego couldn’t raid their system? That the Padres wouldn’t be allowed to hire people from the Rangers’ front office for two years?
Apparently that wasn’t quite the deal. Because today, the Padres reportedly are hiring Senior Special Assistant and longtime Rangers scout Don Welke.
It seems that the rule isn’t that the Padres can’t hire people away from the Rangers. It’s that they have to ask permission first. If the Rangers are OK with it, then it’s OK.
According to Evan Grant of SportsdayDFW, the sports news arm of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers have given their OK for the Padres to hire Welke. San Diego will be announcing the hiring soon, perhaps as early as this afternoon.
Welke has worked in Major League Baseball as a scout for 49 years, beginning his career with the Reds in 1965. He has also worked for the Royals, Blue Jays, Orioles, and Dodgers. He has been with the Rangers since 2006. Among his many player signings are Pat Hentgen, Martin Perez, and former Padre Willie Blair. When he worked for Toronto, he worked as an Advance Scout, and helped the Blue Jays prepare for the 1992 and 1993 World Series.
Preller and Welke worked very closely together in Texas. Welke has been described as one of Preller’s main confidantes during his tenure with the Rangers.
Welke will bring a massive amount of baseball experience to the Padres front office, and perhaps just as importantly, the trust of General Manager Preller.