Blog Entry

New Padres GM Byrnes won't let team suffer

Posted on: October 26, 2011 8:23 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 8:35 pm

By Evan Brunell

In a move that could decimate the Padres for years to come, new Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is razing the Padres front office, sniping Padres GM Jed Hoyer and his assistant, Jason MacLeod, who will fill similar roles in Chicago. San Diego will get a player to be named later as compensation, expected to be a low-level minor leaguer.

This move has been expected for a while, but now that it's finally official, we can look at the shockwaves of this deal in San Diego. Lost in all the hubbub over Theo Epstein joining the Cubs and the Red Sox promoting Epstein's protege, Ben Cherington, is the impact these moves have on San Diego. The club is losing two of its top executives to what is now a "dream team" structure in Chicago, after Epstein went looking for lieutenants he trusted once Boston refused to allow any executives to follow Epstein to Chicago. While the move was done with the blessing of Padres CEO Jeff Moorad, who now gets to elevate Josh Byrnes into the GM seat, it's a major change that could derail the club.

GM Carousel
Byrnes and Moorad have previous ties, when Moorad steered the ship in Arizona and brought Byrnes to town from Boston. The then-35-year-old was hired in 2005 (allowing Hoyer to rise to the assistant GM role with the Red Sox) and was given an eight-year extension prior to the 2008 season Under Byrnes' watch, the Diamondbacks did improve the from the season before, but that's pretty easy to do when the 2004 team lost 111 games. The team did go on to win a division title, but floundered for three seasons before Byrnes was cut loose partway through 2010.

The Diamondbacks' philosophy upon starting its franchise in 1998 was to go hard after top free agents and pay money for them to come to town. It paid off in 2001, with a World Series victory in a series that hasn't been matched since. However, all the deferred cash coming due to aging veterans hit the team hard, and Byrnes came in to try to turn it around. Under his watch, the D-Backs worked their way up from irrelevancy to winning the division title in 2007 with 90 victories. However, the club slumped after that season, all the way to last place in 2009 with 92 losses. When Arizona got 2010 off to a similarly poor start, that was it for Byrnes in town. In the meantime, the farm system suffered, as the club ranked No. 22 heading into 2011, according to Baseball America. However, as BA notes, 'Zona's system is rich in the low minors, which could eventually bear fruit. And of course, the Diamondbacks won the NL West in 2011, in no small part due to Byrnes' contributions.

Meanwhile, Hoyer and MacLeod have brought the Padres along rather nicely in the two years they had to replace Kevin Towers, who is now Diamondbacks GM. The Padres have a fantastic farm system, strengthened by the trade of Adrian Gonzalez to Boston and have made several savvy moves to boost the major-league team, such as plucking Cameron Maybin from the Marlins and seeing him develop into a quality centerfielder like he was supposed to. There's no question that losing Hoyer and MacLeod will hurt San Diego, but Moorad is extremely confident in Byrnes, who is still highly-regarded may even be better than before, having seen how things transpired in Arizona and learning from it

It's near impossible to speculate how well the Padres will do under Byrnes, but fans shouldn't despair. Byrnes understands how to work in a small market and will cultivate the farm system. Fortunately, the club has a well-established manager in Bud Black to oversee the team, so there won't be a risk of Byrnes making a mistake on who to lead the team on the field, having hired a green A.J. Hinch in Arizona and drawing the ire and scorn of many in the game (and yet, there's none for Robin Ventura...), with Hinch and the club showing a lack of fire that destroyed the team. (Hinch remains well-regarded and should manage again or become GM one day.)

Given how Byrnes and Hoyer come from similar schools of thought and worked under Epstein, it's unlikely Byrnes will rip up the processes that have been installed in San Diego over the last few years. Rather, he'll continue them, while putting his own stamp on the team. The rise of Arizona in 2007 and 2011 should make Pads fans confident in Byrnes, even though the loss of Hoyer hurts.

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Since: Oct 27, 2011
Posted on: October 27, 2011 2:07 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: October 27, 2011 12:19 pm

New Padres GM Byrnes won't let team suffer

Craptastic idea.  This event has nothing to do with contraction, dummass.

Since: Jun 16, 2011
Posted on: October 27, 2011 10:53 am

New Padres GM Byrnes won't let team suffer


Stop adding and moving teams and start getting rid of some.  Seattle is a great place to start with the Mariners (take the Seahawks too!) and California has too many teams - good-bye Padres.  Maybe merge the Pads & Dodgers?  You can have the Mets too.

Since: Jan 14, 2008
Posted on: October 26, 2011 11:31 pm

New Padres GM Byrnes won't let team suffer

CoachHoss2, I couldnt agree more with your statement. I too am curious which way these new execs will take our Cubbie franchise.

Since: Mar 17, 2010
Posted on: October 26, 2011 11:27 pm

New Padres GM Byrnes won't let team suffer

The one thing the Padres do not need is a new Manager. Bud is a legitmate big league manager!

Since: Mar 17, 2010
Posted on: October 26, 2011 11:24 pm

New Padres GM Byrnes won't let team suffer

I'll tell you what will happen...We will trade away players once they become established, maybe even stars for prospects. Once those propects become established or even stars we will trade them for prospects, and those prospects will someday be traded for more prospects to eventually also be traded for pospects. The day's of Tony Gwynn over long over. This team refuses to have a long term plan. We are in perpetual rebuilding mode.

Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: October 26, 2011 11:07 pm

New Padres GM Byrnes won't let team suffer

Kevin Towers wasn't good enough for Moorad in San Diego but the guy whose mess he fixed in Arizona is.  While his overall draft history was not good Towers' had put a better scouting team together and his last year or two in San Diego included strong drafts that yielded an A League championship in Fort Wayne three years ago with a team that won 100 games and a Double A championship in San Antonio this year with many of the same players.    

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2011 10:18 pm

New Padres GM Byrnes won't let team suffer

Unless the payroll increases dramatically over the next few years, it doesn't matter who's steering the ship. When you're consistently at the bottom of the list and can't attract FA's, building through the farm system can be slow and painful as the "kids" grow up. They don't call them "prospects" for nothin. We haven't been able to hit in over a decade! It's a waste of some very good pitching over the years. Those years we made a run at the playoffs, we traded/imported hitters like Caminiti and Vaughn. Let's spend some money already!

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 9:57 pm

New Padres GM Byrnes won't let team suffer

I am looking forward to this offseason to see what happen,  I am hoping that the first step is to get a better manager and pitching coach.

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 9:43 pm

New Padres GM Byrnes won't let team suffer

The Cubs continue to try to make several changes they believe are for the good of the franchise.  I believe that it will be a busy fall/winter for the Cubs.  I am not saying that Epstein and his new crew are the answers or will turn out a World Series quickly but I am excited for the offseason to see what moves they make and what direction they will take with the Cubs. 

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