The post-Josh Byrnes shake-up in San Diego is in full effect. Following the resignation of former Assistant GM A.J. Hinch Tuesday morning, and the hiring of new GM A.J. Preller, the Padres announced Wednesday that VP and Assistant GM of Player Personnel, Chad McDonald has also tendered his resignation and is leaving the team immediately to seek other career opportunities in baseball.
Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union Tribune reported that McDonald’s departure may not be the last for anyone with close ties with the former Padres’ GM Byrnes, who was fired June 22nd.
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Well respected around the game for his evaluation of talent, McDonald followed Byrnes from the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010 when he served as assistant scouting director and chief international scout bringing in players such as Odrisamer Despaigne and 2014 first-round draft pick Trea Turner who are thriving early on their in their baseball careers.
"In his statement, McDonald’s stated, “Obviously, change is part of the game, but leaving the system well-stocked makes me feel good about the process and a lot of hard work by quality scouts and quality player development personnel. Make no mistake: the system is really good with a lot of quality players who are going to impact the major league team for a lot of years to come.”"
However, as Sanders points out, McDonald’s resignation appears more like a cleaning house from anyone who had strong ties to both Byrnes and former GM Jed Hoyer, who left to fill the same role with the Chicago Cubs in 2011.
Chief Executive Ron Fowler and CEO Mike Dee expressed vehemently their displeasure with the Padres’ lackluster offensive performance in the first half of the season and Byrnes’ signing of outfielder Carlos Quentin with a no-trade clause and Josh Johnson‘s $8 million contract are two significant problems this year.
The hiring of Preller reflects a new philosophy and direction within the organization that does not include those potential disagreements from those who are long-time supporters of Byrnes. Does this new philosophy include opening up the checkbook to bring in a player like Nelson Cruz next year? It’s difficult to speculate after Preller’s one day on the job, but the departures of both Hinch and McDonald show the Padres’ are shaking things up for step in the right direction.