Despite the assurance that both Bob Melvin and A.J. Preller would return to their respective positions with the San Diego Padres in 2024, Melvin's time in the Padres dugout still feels like anything other than a sure thing with a new report out of San Francisco.
Could San Diego Padres lose Bob Melvin to San Francisco Giants?
In a piece for The Athletic (subscription required), Andrew Baggarly writes that the San Francisco Giants, "want to have a newly hired manager in place when the doors to free agency open in early November." This comes on the heels of Gabe Kapler being ousted just before the end of the season as the Giants underperformed in 2023.
Baggarly goes on to write, "It’s expected that Melvin, 61, would be open to the opportunity to interview with the Giants — and return to the Bay Area, where he managed the Oakland A’s for 11 seasons — if the Padres permit him to do so."
This would certainly put a test on the Melvin-Preller working fabric and seem to be a line in the sand. If Melvin, who still has a year left on his contract, interviews for the Giants job, it would be hard to see how he could actually be back with the Padres in 2024. Melvin going to interview with the Giants would potentially allow Preller to say that Melvin wasn't happy in San Diego and pull the plug on the deal, scooting around any possibility of firing him, but rather making it look like that was Melvin's choice to vacate.
Optics aside, if Melvin does indeed have interest in the Giants job, it paints a picture of uncertainty in San Diego. There are already plenty of questions about the roster and payroll heading into next season. Now it seems there could be with Melvin and his future in brown and gold once again.
If San Francisco does indeed want a manager in place around the conclusion of the World Series, the Giants are on the clock ... and so are the Padres. If Melvin is granted permission to talk to the Giants, it could well start a domino effect up and down the West Coast.