Where General Manager A.J. Preller Will Take The Padres
By Matt Mirro
It’s finally happened! The San Diego Padres introduced their new general manager this week and his name is A.J. Preller. Preller has a plan and it’s to utilize his area of expertise which is the international prospect market. Yes, the Padres new general manager is planning on importing some talent from south of the boarder in hopes of bolstering the organization’s minor leagues (Already ranked #6 overall in baseball). The plan is that a few years down the road it’ll help build up the big league club. Preller was formerly the Head of International and Professional Scouting for the Texas Rangers and is known for his extensive work in foreign countries, which is exactly what the Padres want to do.
Fellow California teams like the Angels, Giants and especially the Dodgers, already pump money into players from Mexico, the Dominican Republic other Latin American countries and the Padres have lagged behind in recent years. While it’s not known if Preller is planning on shaking up his current big league roster, we do know his priority is scouting and developing young players for future return. Preller and the Padres would love to be able to bring in players like Julio Urias (The Dodgers’ top pitching prospect who hails from Mexico) in order to open up a bigger fan base in the California area, which would could lead to those lovely multi-million dollar television deals and lots of money to splurge on free agents which is also a nice way bolster a roster.
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Preller was signed to 5-year deal, and he made it clear that this was going to be a process and not a short term one. While the Padres’ farm system is highly rated, their top stars aren’t all ready to come up together like fans are seeing with the Chicago Cubs and their players (Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, etc.). Preller and the rest of the team’s front office will try to get as close to contention as possible within the next five years and he may only be able to see the fruits of his labor at the back end of his deal. They’ll have to see where it goes from that point, but for right now, it seems the road to the World Series will have to cross the boarder and back again. The Padres’ hired the right guy to fulfill this goal.