A disappointing baseball season can only mean an offseason full of intrigue and rumors for the San Diego Padres. The organization is trying to crawl back to contention. Padres President of Baseball Operations and General Manager A.J. Preller has no intent to write off 2024 as a rebuilding season. Not when a few moves could change the Friars’ fortunes.
One rumor that will not go away is Padres skipper Bob Melvin being the top candidate for the San Francisco Giants managerial opening. The Athletic (paid subscription outlet) is reporting that the Giants front office has deemed Melvin their top choice and is seeking to interview him. They hope to hire a new manager before the official start of the offseason.
San Diego Padres: Preller's and Melvin's partnership coming to an end?
To no one's surprise, the Friars have granted the Giants permission to interview Melvin. It will not be difficult to persuade him to leave San Diego. Melvin is a Palo Alto native and managed the Oakland Athletics for 11 seasons. Plus, it is becoming increasingly clear that Preller and Melvin have no desire to work together for another season. Now, the stars are aligned for a clean break with no hard feelings from either side.
There was little fanfare from the Padres front office with the announcement of Melvin’s return in 2024. It was a perfect opportunity for Preller to show confidence in his manager by signing him to a contract extension. Instead, Melvin has one year left on his contract, which makes him a “lame-duck” manager for next season.
The problem was not that the Friars missed the postseason, but the organization failed to capitalize on the momentum from a memorable 2022 playoff run. The Padres were everyone’s spring training choice to win the World Series. The talent was there, but they never could get on track all season long.
The results were incredibly frustrating for all. But give Preller credit; he has never placed sole blame on his manager for the team’s lack of success. Others did it for him. The Friar Faithful grew tired of the on-field mental mistakes, lineup construction and bullpen management.
Questions have risen if Melvin is the right manager to take the Padres to the next level. The Padres are no longer the upstart franchise looking to create chaos in the National League West standings. Falling short of their postseason goal forces higher expectations in 2024.
Contract extensions are key to maintaining managerial authority
It makes sense for Melvin to look elsewhere for job security as there is no assurance he will remain in San Diego beyond next season. He needs commitment from an organization to allow him to manage without having to look over his shoulder during a tough stretch in the schedule. Another disappointing start in 2024 could force Preller to make a managerial change.
Melvin used the same tactic to leave Oakland following the 2021 season. The A’s picked up his 2022 option but allowed him to interview for other managerial openings. The Padres surprised the baseball universe with the Melvin hire.
Now, he steps into another ideal situation as San Francisco has a great owner and a promising core of young players. Plus, Melvin has worked with Giants GM Farhan Zaidi from their days together in Oakland.
All the boxes are checked for him to become the next San Francisco Giants manager.