In a press conference Wednesday, the San Diego Padres president of baseball operations announced Bob Melvin will return as manager of the Padres.
By Preller making that public, it is clear that he, too, will remain with the organization that hired him in 2014.
Shortly following a second-half collapse in 2021, Jayce Tingler was fired by Preller, which opened the door for Melvin to be brought in for 2022. In the two seasons with Melvin in charge, San Diego posted back-to-back seasons above .500, something the Padres last did in 2006 and 2007, which included a trip to the National League Championship Series and then a disappointing 82-80 finish in 2023, not good enough to earn a wild card spot and make the postseason.
“Bob is [the Padres] manager, and he’s going to be our manager going forward,” Preller said. “Both he and I are very excited about the challenge of getting this group back to the postseason next year.”
Interestingly, Preller did not comment when questioned about how the organization would handle if other teams wanted to interview Melvin for their managerial openings. The Oakland A’s let Melvin interview with the Padres despite being under contract ahead of 2022, and Melvin would likely receive interest from other clubs considering his track record, which includes two championship series appearances and three manager of the year awards.
Also mentioned, Preller has discussed hiring a general manager to help construct the major league roster while Preller can focus on the organization as a whole and scout potential draft picks and international signings.
Next season is the final year under contract for Melvin, while Preller is inked through 2026. Managers normally do not enter “contract years,” but that appears to be the case for Melvin. Phil Nevin managed the Los Angeles Angels this season on a one-year deal and will not be back as the skipper for Los Angeles following another missed postseason. Joe Girardi is another example, leading the New York Yankees to game 7 of the 2017 ALCS in the final year of his contract. He, like Nevin, was not retained by his club. Melvin previously stated he might be done managing once his contract expires.
Much of the core for the Padres will be returning in 2024. Now, there is some clarity on who the leadership will be in San Diego as the Padres look to make the postseason for the third time in five years.
Dominic is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Journalism. He also is the producer and co-host of the “Padres EVT Podcast.”