Talented roster ‘real hook’ for Melvin to make ‘easy’ decision for Padres

Credit: Padres

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Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Former Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin was introduced as the San Diego Padres’ new skipper on Monday. 

When the Padres parted ways with former manager Jayce Tingler following a disappointing 79-83 season in 2021, many names were thrown out by experts and fans as possible replacements.

Few, if any, had current Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin as the guy for the job.

That certainly wasn’t because he isn’t the right hire, but most assumed he was unavailable. The A’s had just picked up his option for the 2022 season, having finished their fourth straight winning season with Melvin at the helm. Yet Padres general manager A.J. Preller sought the big fish, as he is wont to do.

The Padres’ opening immediately attracted melvin. He touted the stacked roster the Padres have.

“The roster…that was the real hook…these are some of the great players in the game that I know are hungry to bring a championship to San Diego,” he said during Monday’s presser.

Certainly, an experienced manager like him had to be excited about the prospects of managing a team with perennial All-Stars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado leading the way. He has already talked at length with Machado, the clear leader among the Padres’ players. Getting Machado to buy-in will be a huge part of his first few months in charge.

With Machado, Tatis, Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Mike Clevinger, among others, the Padres do not lack star power nor talent. In fact, on the surface, the players slated to be part of the 2022 squad might be more talented than any team Melvin coached in Oakland. That includes six playoff teams and four 94-plus win seasons in 11 years in the Bay Area.

He noted that it was an “easy” decision to take the job, mentioning the roster as well as Petco Park and all it brings.

“We came here on a Tuesday night, and there were 40,000 people here, and it was electric,” Melvin said Monday. “You would’ve thought it was the playoffs.” He called Petco Park a “true destination.”

Padres fans should be just as excited about Melvin as he appeared to be in San Diego. The Padres have not hired a manager with previous managerial experience since Jack McKeon took over in 1988, but he had previously been the general manager. You will need to go back to 1982, with Dick Williams, to find the last outside-organization managerial hire by the Padres, with previous experience.

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Plus, Melvin comes to town as a three-time Manager of the Year award winner. He first won the honor in 2007 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He then won it in 2012 and 2018 with the Athletics. He comes with postseason experience, having managed 27 total playoff games thus far. He also was the bench coach for the World Series champion Diamondbacks in 2001.

Melvin is praised for his leadership, walking a fine line between analytics and baseball instincts. The A’s are an analytics-driven franchise, and Melvin was part of it. It seems as if the Padres are falling behind in some areas of analytics and player development. Coming from the franchise that bore the movie “Moneyball,” Melvin is more in-tune with how the game is growing and how players excel compared to his Padres predecessors.

It’s full-steam ahead with Melvin with one of the most talented rosters he has ever managed.

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