The San Diego Padres and general manager A.J. Preller have agreed on a contract extension through 2022.
Originally hired to be the Padres’ GM in 2014, Preller’s original deal was for five years, taking him through the 2019 season. This new agreement extends Preller’s contract for three more years.
Preller has spearheaded a rebuild in San Diego that has focused primarily on a “youth movement,” and building up the Friars’ farm system. Bleacher Report ranked the Padres’ farm system at No. 4 at the end of the 2017 Minor League Baseball season.
Preller made waves during the offseason before the start of the 2015 Major League Baseball season. He did a complete overhaul with the Padres’ roster, trading away prospects for MLB players. Preller was perceived to have a “win now” attitude.
Preller brought in stars like Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, and Craig Kimbrel. He also acquired Wil Myers, who is the only acquired player still on the roster. Despite having an MLB All-Star roster, the Padres finished at 75-87 and fell well short of the postseason.
Beginning in 2016, Preller changed his focused and began a true rebuild in San Diego. He traded away many of the players he acquired before the start of the 2015 season, bringing back prospects in return.
Preller traded Kimbrel to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Manuel Margot, who is now the team’s starting center fielder. He traded James Shields to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Fernando Tatis, Jr. Tatis, Jr. is ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the Padres’ farm system by MLB Pipeline, and is expected to be a big part of the team’s contention plans in the future.
Preller fell under controversy in 2016. He was handed a 30-day suspension from the MLB Front Office. The Padres traded Drew Pomeranz to the Red Sox for Anderson Espinoza. However, the Padres did not disclose the pitcher’s medical information properly, an investigation found.
Despite these things, the San Diego front office is expressing full confidence in Preller’s plan. The team has finished last in the N.L. West the last two seasons and have yet to finish above .500 under Preller.
Yet, the future holds promise. The team has plans to be in contention by 2020, when their talented prospects are called up to the “Show.” The Padres are essentially telling their fans to “trust the process” by extending Preller for three more years.