“Padres Search Begins”
Looking for a manager to go to work for a man whose fingerprints are on alot of failure in San Diego.
Talking about the Padres search for a new manager, who would the 4th in a 7-year span since AJ Preller was given ultimate decision making power.
Preller is defiant, maybe tone deaf, egotistical. He does not believe his last hire, Jayce Tingler failed.
He is not holding himself accountable for the disastrous strip mining of the farm system, or the excessive contracts doled out in free agency. Neither is he to blame for the amount of money he burned thru to sign all these draft picks or international free agents, who are since gone, or failed to get to Petco Park yet.
Owner Peter Seidler says he has 100% trust in his GM to do the right thing, and to fix this disappointment of what was supposed to be a Swag Chain Summer.
All types of candidates are out there, led by a future Hall of Famer, past managers who have been in the World Series, bright light players about to become managers, and some of Preller’s old friends.
Some might be gems, some might be retreads, some might be viable and valuable based on experience.
Here’s a look at whom Preller might consider, via ‘The Athletic’s’ laundy list of name available:
The San Diego Padres fired manager Jayce Tingler last week after he failed to take a team with a $185 million payroll to the postseason. It was a disappointing year for a franchise that many predicted could go deep into the playoffs this season. Tingler was hired in October 2019 to replace Andy Green, who was brought on by president of baseball operations A.J. Preller back in 2015. Neither Tingler nor Green had major-league managing experience when they were hired by the Padres, and both owner Peter Seidler and Preller have said that it is not a requirement for the current role.
Here are 12 potential candidates who I think they should consider hiring. From personal experience, I believe a manager who has a proven track record is what this team needs right now, but that doesn’t mean a rookie manager couldn’t potentially do well if given the opportunity. (And even though Preller is signed through 2026 and is not on the hot seat, I think he’ll be the first to tell you that his next managerial hiring might be the most important move he’s had to make since taking the job.)
Bruce Bochy, 66, is a future Hall of Fame manager with three world championships and four National League pennants. He started his managerial career with the Padres from 1995-2006, finishing first in four different seasons, and was voted NL Manager of the Year in 1996, his second season with the team.
From 2007-19, he managed the San Francisco Giants and finished in first or second place six times, winning the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He was well known for his deft handling of a pitching staff and provided calm, strong leadership throughout his career and learned to embrace analytics during his time in San Francisco. He has told his friends that he is open to returning to managing, and a reunion with the Padres could be a great match. There are some parallels to Tony La Russa returning to manage the ready-to-win White Sox at age 77 and that’s worked out so far on the South Side. The Padres will be in a similar position in 2022 and the steady hand and championship experience of Bochy would play well for the short term.
Ron Washington, 69, managed the Texas Rangers from 2007-2014, and in his time there, the team won two American League pennants in 2010 and 2011 but failed to win the World Series in either year. His overall managerial record is 664-611, including four consecutive 90-win seasons (2010-13). Washington finished in the top 5 in AL Manager of the Year voting on three different occasions before his surprising resignation in 2014. He was a finalist for the Braves’ managerial opening in 2016 but lost out to Brian Snitker. He has an aggressive style that would work well with the Padres offense, as he’s always trying to push the envelope on the bases. He’s presently on the Braves coaching staff and deserves a lot of credit for his hard work with the best defensive infield in the sport. He has a tremendous work ethic, strong communication skills and a high baseball IQ and is respected throughout the game.
Luis Rojas, 40, was just let go by the New York Mets after managing them the last two seasons. He finished with a 103-119 record, but also endured a significant amount of player injuries and personnel turnover during his tenure. Rojas was respected by his players, who bought into his leadership style. He has strong evaluative eyes and embraces the important analytics needed to succeed in today’s game. Rojas comes from a long line of baseball blood: his brother Moisés Alou, father Felipe Alou, cousin Mel Rojas, and uncles Jesús and Matty Alou all played in the major leagues. He’s been able to learn from his family and shares their intellect and baseball IQ. I firmly believe that he will succeed at his next major-league managerial opportunity, just like Gabe Kapler has done in San Francisco after his failed time with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Buck Showalter, 65, has 20 years of major-league managerial experience with the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. His overall record is 1551-1517 during the regular season and 9-14 in the postseason. He’s won three divisional titles, three wild-card berths, an AL pennant, won 100 games back in 1999 and was voted AL Manager of the Year in 1994, 2004 and 2014. He is a master of details, from the folding of the clubhouse towels to the first-step direction of the left fielder. He’s engaging, has stellar communication skills and wants to be involved in all aspects of baseball operations; he pays attention to the scouting and player development side as much as his major-league club. He knows the game inside and out and would love one more opportunity to manage. He does have connections with the Padres, including third baseman Manny Machado, who’s a big fan of Buck’s.
Mike Scioscia. (Rhona Wise / MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Mike Scioscia, 62, managed the Angels from 2000-18. He finished first or second in 10 of his 19 years there and won a world championship in 2002. His overall record is 1650-1428, and he had a 56 percent success rate on 195 challenges over his career. He surrounds himself with a strong coaching staff and delegates authority. He won AL Manager of the Year in 2002 and 2009 and has publicly left open the possibility of returning to managing if the right opportunity arrived. Certainly, the Padres fit that category. This past year he managed the U.S. Olympic baseball team and led them to the silver medal in Tokyo.
Eduardo Pérez, 52, is presently an analyst for both ESPN and MLB Network Radio and is the son of Hall of Famer Tony Pérez. He has a great passion for the game, fantastic people and leadership skills and could follow in the footsteps of other successful broadcasters-turned-managers like Alex Cora and Aaron Boone. Pérez was a former No. 1 pick and 17th player overall in the 1991 MLB Amateur Draft. He played 13 years in the major leagues with six different clubs, finishing with 79 home runs, 294 runs batted in and a 33 percent on-base percentage. He was the bench coach for the Houston Astros in 2013 and hitting coach with the Marlins from 2011-12. He was also manager of the year in the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League, leading the Leones De Ponce to a championship back in 2008. He interviewed for the most recent managerial openings with the Astros and Mets and it’s only a matter of time before he lands a job with a big-league team.
George Lombard, 46, is currently the bench coach of the Detroit Tigers under manager A.J. Hinch. He’s well known for his player impact, work ethic, open-mindedness and knowing how to build a winning culture. He got his first coaching job back in 2009 as hitting coach with the Lowell Spinners before managing the Gulf Coast Red Sox in 2011-12. He was then promoted by Boston to roving outfield and base running instructor, and assumed the same role with the Braves in Sept. 2015. His big break came in Dec. 2015 when the Los Angeles Dodgers named him first-base coach, a position he held through the 2020 season. His experience with the Dodgers included coaching in three World Series and a world championship. In addition to his coaching experience, he played six seasons in the major leagues as an extra outfielder and his great passion for the game would make him an excellent skipper.
Joe Espada, 46, is a former minor-league player and the current bench coach for the Houston Astros. He has paid his dues in the major-league coaching ranks, spending four years with the Marlins, three years with the Yankees, and the last four years with the Astros. Espada began coaching in 2006 as hitting coach of the Class-A Greensboro Grasshoppers before moving up to the Jupiter Hammerheads the next year. He was promoted to minor-league field coordinator for the Marlins in 2008 and named the third-base coach before the 2010 season. Espada has worked under some great managers, including Hinch and Dusty Baker in Houston. He also has front office experience, having served as a special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman. He’s ready for his first opportunity.
Carlos Mendoza, 41, was named bench and infield coach of the Yankees in Nov. 2019 and is so well respected that his name comes up often when I ask people in the game about future big-league managers. Mendoza has been a member of the Yankees organization for 13 years, with a wide-ranging background that includes being the team’s inaugural quality control coach. He has interviewed for several managerial openings, including with the Red Sox and Tigers. He played in the minor leagues for 13 seasons, mainly as a backup infielder. But even in those days, his teammates predicted he would manage in the majors someday.
Matt Quatraro, 45, is the bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays, learning under one of the best managers in the game in Kevin Cash. He played in the minor leagues from 1996-2003, but never made it to the majors as a player. This is his 26th year in professional baseball and his 18th in a coaching capacity; to say he’s paid his dues would be an understatement. He spent four years managing in the minor leagues, four years as a major-league assistant hitting coach, four years as a minor-league hitting coordinator and even was a catching instructor one year. He’s been in a winning culture in Tampa Bay and is now on several teams’ radar as a future major-league manager.
Mark DeRosa, 46, is the lead analyst for “MLB Central” on the MLB Network. He played in the major leagues for 16 years with the Braves, Rangers, Cubs, Indians, Cardinals, Giants, Nationals and Blue Jays. Many who knew him then predicted he would either manage in the big leagues or become a star broadcaster, and he’s certainly accomplished the latter. DeRosa, like Pérez, has the baseball knowledge, leadership skills and baseball IQ to make the transition to managing if someone gives him the chance.
A.J. Ellis, 40. There were two major-league backup catchers who I always thought would become major-league managers: David Ross, who’s now managing the Cubs, and Ellis, who played 11 years in the majors with the Dodgers, Phillies, Marlins and Padres. He was always studying and managing the games in his head while mostly serving as a backup catcher. Ellis joined the Padres as a special assistant to the club’s baseball operations staff back in Feb. 2019. He’s a tremendous influence for pitchers and was previously best known as future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw’s personal catcher.