Tag:San Diego Padres
Posted on: December 7, 2009 4:04 pm
 

Padres promote Chris Gwynn

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Padres, in the midst of a front-office shakeup under new chief executive officer Jeff Moorad and now new general manager Jed Hoyer, will name Chris Gwynn as director of player personnel, according to CBSSports.com sources.

Gwynn, the former major leaguer and brother of Hall of Famer Tony, has been a scout in the Padres organization for the past several years and has been widely expected to be promoted under Moorad. In his new role, he is expected to aid Hoyer in evaluating players, both inside and outside the Padres' organization.

Meantime, the Padres spent time Monday at the winter meetings interviewing candidates to fill their director of scouting position, open since Bill "Chief" Gayton was told in October that he was being reassigned.

Among those who have interviewed so far, according to sources, are Ric Wilson, currently the national cross checker for the Los Angeles Angels, and Ray Montgomery, assistant scouting director for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Posted on: October 23, 2009 5:52 pm
 

Padres to name Jed Hoyer GM early next week

Jed Hoyer will be named as the next general manager of the San Diego Padres, according to CBSSports.com sources, with the official announcement expected to come early next week, probably Monday.

Hoyer, 35, currently Boston's senior vice-president and assistant GM, will replace Kevin Towers, who was the longest tenured GM in the game until he was fired at season's end.

The hire will be the second time that Jeff Moorad, San Diego's chief executive officer, has gone to Boston to hire a GM. Current Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes, like Hoyer, was an assistant under Red Sox GM Theo Epstein in Boston when Moorad hired him in Arizona in 2005.

The Padres' job will be Hoyer's first as the man in charge (though he did serve a 44-day stint as Boston's "co-GM" in '05 when Epstein briefly left the organization.

Hoyer was hired by the Red Sox in 2003, when he was just 28, and has since become one of Epstein's most trusted assistants. A native of Plymouth, N.H., and a 1996 graduate of Wesleyan University, Hoyer has aided Epstein in all aspects of Boston's baseball operations department including player acquisitions and evaluations and contract negotiations.

Hoyer also is a student of blending scouting and quantitative analysis, which is part of what Moorad clearly  meant when, in dismissing Towers after 14 seasons with the organization, he said he wanted a GM with more of a "strategic approach." At the time, he referred to Towers as a "gunslinger."

The Red Sox are noted for blending sabermatrics -- statistical analysis -- and scouting as well as any franchise in the game.

The Padres last season finished strong, compiling a winning record in August and September to go 75-87 and finish fourth in the NL West. Hoyer is said to have been impressed with the job manager Bud Black did as several other losing clubs, such as Pittsburgh, Washington and Kansas City, slogged through miserable Septembers.

He is, however, expected to make some changes in the baseball operations department. Among those who could be on their way out are Grady Fuston, vice-president of scouting and player development, and Bill "Chief" Gayton, the club's director of scouting. The Padres have had a string of several disappointing drafts over the past decade.

The status of executive vice-president Paul DePodesta, former Dodgers GM, is unclear. Before he left, former club president Sandy Alderson set DePodesta up with a three-year contract believed to be worth $800,000 annually that does not expire until after the 2011 season.

Kim Ng, the Dodgers' vice-president and assistant GM, also interviewed for the Padres job.

Hoyer played baseball while at Wesleyan, pitching and playing shortstop for a team that reached the NCAA Division III championship game.

The Red Sox celebrated Hoyer earlier Friday, ESPN's Peter Gammons tweeted, by holding a going away lunch for him.

 

 

Posted on: October 3, 2009 5:41 pm
 

Amateur hour again in San Diego

It's always amateur hour in San Diego, from Fire Sales to Roseanne Barr's crotch-grabbing national anthem to owner John Moores' extramarital affair and subsequent ugly divorce turning beautiful Petco Park into a tawdry parlor housing a cheap team.

Nobody in the game is more adept at turning good fortune into an unsightly mess than the Padres. CEO Jeff Moorad's firing of longtime general manager Kevin Towers sends every indication that it's happening again.

One step forward, three steps back.

"This year, Kevin did what I've gotten used to seeing over the years," Moorad said Saturday at a news briefing to formally announce the sacking in San Diego. "Pulling a rabbit out of the hat. He's done a terrific job of molding the team and doing it on the fly."

So, he's being fired, why?

"We got to a point where we felt the appropriate thing was to either extend his contract or cut ties," Moorad said.

At the time of Towers' firing, the Padres, since July 28, were 36-23, the fourth-best record in the majors and the second-best in the National League. Not that the next step was the World Series. Towers a couple of weeks ago excitedly spoke of possibly even contending in 2010 which, I thought, was overly optimistic -- but a heck of an advancement from where the club was a year ago.

Which was, frankly, wretched. The Padres lost 99 games in 2008 but, worse than that, were unwatchable even on their good days. They were slow, unathletic and boring.

It was the result of payroll slashing -- something that figures into the Padres' history Moores more than World Series -- and a dysfunctional front office split by philosophical differences.

When a group led by Moorad agreed this spring to purchase the Padres from Moores, president Sandy Alderson quietly left and, judging by the personnel moves that followed, the handcuffs were removed from Towers. He was back to operating at a greater degree of autonomy than he had at anytime in '08.

The results have been evident over these past six weeks. In removing this club from the sewer, cleaning it up and making it presentable, Towers has performed some of his best work yet.

He added athleticism, acquiring outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. (from Milwaukee) and promoting Will Venable. Now the Padres actually have outfielders who can cover ground in their own home park. (And a cat-quick Rule V shortstop, Everth Cabrera, who at times is electric).

He fixed a terrible bullpen in short order acquiring, among others, Luke Gregerson (St. Louis) and Edward Mujica (Cleveland). He obtained three young pitchers from Oakland for journeyman Scott Hairston.

And in trading Peavy to the White Sox, he not only induced the Sox to pay every penny of the remaining $52 million owed the pitcher over the next few years, he also got four pitchers back in the deal.

Now Moorad wants a man with more of a "strategic approach."

Whatever.

Maybe this will work out. Maybe Moorad will come out of this looking like a genius.

I will say this: It is close to humanly impossible for him to come out of it looking worse than Moores, a phony whose bait-and-switch tactics to get a sweetheart deal on a new ballpark worked out far better for him than for San Diego fans.

There is a case to be made for sweeping changes in part of the Padres' baseball operations. Both amateur scouting and player development have been poor for much of the past decade and, for that, Towers bears some responsibility.

But given his body of work over the past 14 years -- heck, his body of work over the past eight months -- what Towers deserved was a "thank you" and a contract extension, not a firing.

Instead, Moorad admitted on Saturday that he's already interviewed three potential GM candidates.

Three! While Towers was still working for him.

Amateur hour?

Yeah. Stay classy, San Diego.

Posted on: October 2, 2009 10:18 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2009 2:48 am
 

Padres fire GM Towers

The San Diego Padres have fired Kevin Towers, the game's longest-tenured general manager, and will announce the move on Saturday, CBSSports.com has learned.

Towers, who was informed of the decision before Friday night's Padres-Giants game, was told by Moorad last month that the club "might begin a GM search." That was the first indication to Towers that his future with the club was in jeopardy. By Friday, that future was no more.

There is no indication yet whom Jeff Moorad, Padres chief executive officer, has in mind to replace Towers in what ranks as another jolt to a franchise that had become irrelevant during the waning months of former owner John Moores' administration and was only starting to recover.

One person with knowledge of the situation said he thinks Moorad has someone in mind and will work quickly to fill the void.

Among those who will be prominently linked to the vacancy will be Jerry DiPoto, director of player personnel for the Arizona, a person who worked closely with Moorad when Moorad was CEO in Arizona.

Others who could become candidates include Paul DePodesta, Padres special assistant for baseball operations; Jed Hoyer, Red Sox assistant GM; and Peter Woodfork, Diamondbacks' assistant general manager.

As for Towers, who has been in charge of the Padres since Nov. 17, 1995, if it is possible for a personnel move to be both surprising and not at the same time, this is it.

The decision comes as a Moorad-led ownership group gains control of the club from Moores. Major personnel moves typically are expected during a change in ownership.

Yet Towers, who is signed through 2010 and is due more than $1 million in salary next year, did some of his best work this season in quickly revamping a franchise gutted by a payroll purge into a club with good young players and a modicum of hope for the future.

A Padres' club that lost 99 games a year ago was 74-85 entering Friday's series opener with San Francisco.

Towers has overseen a dramatic player payroll ordered by Moores. The club hacked the payroll to $40 million this summer, from $73 million in 2008, and severed ties with franchise icon closer Trevor Hoffman in the process. Most recently, Towers dealt ace Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox at the July 31 trade deadline.

Following last season's crash-and-burn, Towers was given more room to work this spring and summer following club president Sandy Alderson's departure. Towers quickly made a flurry of moves that brought the Padres back to respectability far sooner than expected, acquiring such players as relievers Luke Gregerson (from St. Louis) and Edward Mujica (Cleveland), outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. (Milwaukee) and starters Sean Gallagher (Oakland) and Clayton Richard (White Sox).

With Towers essentially rebuilding the team on the fly, the Padres had gone 36-23 (.610) since July 28, a winning percentage that ranks fourth in the major leagues during that time and second in the NL.

It has been the brightest time since the Padres blew the NL West title in 2007 and lost a one-game playoff to the Colorado Rockies.

Before then, and long before the club's recent internal problems and payroll purge, Towers was the architect of the most successful period in Padres' history.

They won four of their five NL pennants under Towers, including the only back-to-back division titles in franchise history, in 2005 and 2006. They also won the 1998 NL pennant and appeared in only the club's second World Series ever with Towers in charge.

Yet Towers' long-term future under Moorad was never secure. Under Moorad in Arizona, the Diamondbacks interviewed Towers upon Joe Garagiola Jr.'s departure as GM in 2005 but hired Josh Byrnes instead.

With Towers out, Oakland's Billy Beane becomes the longest-tenured GM in the game.

And, Towers' dismissal is expected to be only the beginning of a housecleaning in the club's baseball operations department. Grady Fuson, vice-president of player development, is expected to be fired, though one source said Friday night he could remain in place until a new GM is named, at which time the GM likely would dismiss him. Bill Gayton, director of scouting, might be re-assigned as well.

Meantime, scout Chris Gwynn, who was a client of Moorad's when Moorad was an agent, is said to be well thought of and in line for a promotion -- possibly at least to the level of farm director.

Posted on: August 21, 2009 12:24 am
 

Greene, Padres settle dispute

Khalil Greene arrived in San Diego on Thursday with his St. Louis Cardinals teammates -- but without union representation.

Which was a very good thing for him.

Greene and the Padres settled a grievance in which the club was attempting to recover up to $1.47 million in salary from last August and September when the shortstop was sidelined after a suffering a self-inflicted injury. The grievance hearing had been scheduled for this month.

"It was resolved a couple of weeks ago in a mutually satisfactory way," Padres chairman Jeff Moorad said.

Moorad declined to reveal terms because the parties signed a confidentiality clause. David Prouty, chief labor counsel for the major league baseball players association, confirmed the settlement Thursday.

"It certainly was something, as far as it being over and done, I'm glad it's over," Greene said. "It was something that was on my mind for a long time up until the point when it was finally finished.

"I'm glad to be done with it."

Greene suffered a broken hand last July 30 when, in a fit of anger, he punched a storage locker in Petco Park during a game. The Padres, angry to have lost their shortstop for the season and in a financial pinch, wanted to dock his salary for the time he missed.

It is believed that Greene wound up receiving most of, if not all of, the $1.47 million due him. One precedent the players' union was citing in its case involved former pitcher Doyle Alexander, who won a similar grievance in 1982 when the Yankees attempted to recover salary paid while he was sidelined for two months because of a similar self-inflicted injury. Then, Alexander fractured a knuckle when he punched the dugout wall.

Greene has been on the disabled list twice this summer with anxiety disorder issues and is hitting only .211 with five homers and 23 RBI in 57 games for St. Louis. He also has eight errors.

Likes: When people talk about Albert Pujols' greatness as a complete player, this is what they're talking about: Pujols swiping second on a 3-and-0 count to Matt Holliday in the ninth inning of a tied game in Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night. It caught the Dodgers so flat-footed that shortstop Rafael Furcal didn't even back up the play, so nobody was there when the ball skipped away from Orlando Hudson. So Pujols took third, then scored the winning run on Holliday's fly ball. It even got a smile from normally stone-faced manager Tony La Russa when I asked him about it. ... College football getting close. ... Don Middlebrook's new CD Beach Bar Serenade. Check out Don's stuff here. ... Bob Dylan's latest Together Through Life. Really good. ... Dark Star's Sports Tonight radio program in Minnesota. ... The latest leg of Bruce Springsteen's tour opening in the United States -- in Hartford, Conn. -- on Wednesday. ... The Farrah Fawcett photo on the cover of this month's Vanity Fair. And I'm particularly glad that, of the two covers of this month's magazine -- Fawcett and Michael Jackson -- the issue featuring Fawcett was the one that landed in my mailbox. ... John Mellencamp's new song Save Some Time to Dream, that apparently will appear on a CD to be issued this fall. He's playing it in concert this summer. ... The free Friday concerts in the park near my house in the summertime. Just one more to go this weekend. Quick, somebody slow summer down. It's disappearing too quickly.

Dislikes: Who says the education system in this country doesn't need fixing? And I'm not talking math, science or even diagramming sentences. I'm talking about the young police officers in New Jersey who didn't even know who Bob Dylan was last month. Very amusing story here.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
"He gets me my drinks for free
"And he's quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
"But there's someplace that he'd rather be
"He says Bill, I believe this is killing me
"As the smile ran away from his face
"Well Im sure that I could be a movie star
"If I could get out of this place"

-- Billy Joel, Piano Man

Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:17 am
 

Mariners sign Ackley, Padres get Tate

The Seattle Mariners and first-round pick Dustin Ackley have agreed to terms on a contract worth $9.6 million, CBSSports.com has learned. The agreement came just moments before Monday's midnight EDT signing deadline.

Ackley, an outfielder from the University of North Carolina, was the No. 2 overall pick in the June draft and was regarded as the best overall offensive player.

It was a rough day for North Carolina: The Padres signed the No. 3 overall pick, Donovan Tate, to a deal worth $6.25 million, according to CBSSports.com sources. Tate, a high schooler from Georgia, had been offered a full-ride scholarship to play football at North Carolina. Instead, Tate was in attendance at Monday night's Padres-Cubs game in San Diego and was introduced to the crowd at Petco Park before the fifth inning.

Posted on: August 6, 2009 10:38 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2009 1:05 am
 

Padres extend manager Black's contract

In a season of upheaval, one thing will remain the same on San Diego's baseball field: The Padres have extended the contract of manager Bud Black through 2010 with a club option for 2011.

Black, in his third season of managing the Padres, is presiding over a club with a drastically cut payroll this season that is buried in last place in the NL West. Chopping from $70-some million down to the $40-million range following the trade of Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox on Friday, the Padres entered a series-opener with the New York Mets on Thursday night at 44-65.

Padres general manager Kevin Towers and Jeff Moorad, the Padres' new chief executive officer, first discussed extending the manager a couple of months ago, and they first broached an extension with Black several weeks ago.

"Watching the way he dealt with young players, he's done a real nice job," Towers said. "I personally think he's managed better this year than his first two.

"I knew he'd get better with time. Our record doesn't indicate it, but it's not Buddy's fault we're 20 games under .500."

Black, 52, has a career record of 196-238 during his two-plus seasons in charge in San Diego. The Padres went 89-74 in his first season and were eliminated from the postseason chase in a one-game playoff in Colorado on the Monday after the regular season ended.

"The first year was kind of a whirlwind managing a contending club," Towers said. "Last year we had a lot of injuries. I've said I thought Buddy would be better even with a younger club. He likes young players.

"He's been one of the driving forces here, 'Hey, let's get our young guys up here and see what they're capable of.' I think this is more of the team he's wanted. He can steal some bases, hit-and-run. We've had a station-to-station club the last couple of years."

Towers also has been impressed with Black's calm demeanor, especially as the losses have mounted and the roster has blown up.

"I don't know how he's done it," Towers said. "I've never seen Bud Black have a bad day. A more volatile manager can make things even worse. If anything, he's been a breath of fresh air for all of us. I tend to fall on the negative side, and he helps balance me out a little bit."

Black, following San Diego's 8-3 win over the New York Mets on Thursday, said he's excited with the extension and is happy that he'll be in charge as the club looks to turn things around.

"I'm flattered that it was talked about over the last month," Black said. "I'm glad to be a part of what's going on here. There's been a transition with ownership in the spring, and there is an evaluation process that obviously continues to go on. Jeff and Tom (Garfinkel, new club president) are doing some things that are going to get us back to where we belong. And K.T. is a great baseball mind. I like working with him."

Posted on: July 31, 2009 4:37 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2009 4:46 pm
 

White Sox acquire Jake Peavy from Padres

In the craziest, most unexpected deal of the day, the Chicago White Sox have acquired right-hander Jake Peavy from the San Diego Padres for a package of prospects, CBSSports.com has confirmed.

Yes, the same White Sox who were turned down by Peavy when a deal was first put into place back in May.

Peavy currently is on the disabled list recovering from a torn tendon in his right foot and has not pitched in six weeks. He is on target to begin throwing again in August. Assuming he comes back healthy, Peavy could become a huge difference-maker for the White Sox down the stretch as they battle the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.

The move also gives the Sox a solid answer to Detroit's acquisition of Jarrod Washburn earlier in the day.

For Peavy, the Sox sent four young pitchers to the Padres: Left-handers Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda and right-handers Adam Russell and Dexter Carter.

Richard was supposed to pitch for the Sox tonight against the New York Yankees.

 
 
 
 
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