Rangers executive A.J. Preller has been identified as the San Diego Padres' first choice to become the team's next general manager, sources said.
While there isn't word about whether Preller has accepted an offer yet, it has been assumed that the winner would accept.
The choice came down to Preller and Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler. While Preller had been identified as the leader a couple of weeks ago, it had appeared that Eppler may have moved in front only a few days ago.
Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen and MLB VP Kim Ng were in the final four.
At least a half-dozen executives turned down a chance to interview for the job, including two in-house candidates, A.J. Hinch and Omar Minaya. Hinch resigned from the Padres earlier Tuesday.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first named Preller as the choice.