Major League Baseball announced Thursday afternoon that Padres general manager A.J. Preller has been suspended 30 days without pay following an investigation into the Drew Pomeranz trade with the Red Sox.
Here is MLB's full statement:
Major League Baseball has completed an investigation into the July 14th transaction in which pitcher Drew Pomeranz was traded from the San Diego Padres to the Boston Red Sox. MLB's Department of Investigations conducted the thorough review, which included interviews with relevant individuals from both Clubs. The findings were submitted to Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.
As a result of this matter, Major League Baseball announced today that A.J. Preller, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Padres, has received a 30-day suspension without pay.
MLB considers the matter closed and will have no further comment.
MLB had been investigating the Padres for shady medical record keeping. In a nutshell, San Diego did not log all medical treatment provided to players with the league's central medical information bank, thereby essentially hiding injury information from competitors. That gave them an advantage in trade talks.
Padres chairman Ron Fowler, managing partner Peter Seidler, and president and CEO Mike Dee released the following statement Thursday:
"We accept the discipline handed down from Major League Baseball earlier today and will fully comply with Commissioner Manfred's recommendations pertaining to changes with our medical administration and record keeping. Rest assured, we will leave no stone unturned in developing comprehensive processes to remediate this unintentional, but inexcusable, occurrence. To be clear, we believe that there was no intent on the part of A.J. Preller or other members of our baseball operations staff to mislead other clubs. We are obviously disappointed that we will lose A.J.'s services for 30 days, but will work closely with him upon his reinstatement to ensure that this unfortunate set of circumstances does not happen again."
Soon after the Pomeranz trade, it was reported the Red Sox were unaware of some treatment he'd been receiving while with the Padres. A trade with the Marlins was also partially reversed after it was discovered pitcher Colin Rea had a preexisting elbow issue. Rea was returned to the Padres and the Marlins received their prospect in return.
This is the second time Preller has been suspended by MLB. He was suspended several years ago while still working with the Rangers as the head of their international scouting department. Preller was disciplined for speaking to an agent about a player who was serving a suspension for providing false age and identity information. The Rangers was also fined.
Preller released the following statement Thursday, after the suspension was announced:
"I accept full responsibility for issues related to the oversight of our medical administration and record keeping. I want to emphasize that there was no malicious intent on the part of me, or anyone on my staff, to conceal information or disregard MLB's recommended guidelines. This has been a learning process for me. I will serve my punishment and look forward to being back on the job in 30 days."
Preller is just wrapping up his second season as GM of the Padres. He was hired during the 2014-15 offseason and the led the charge as the club made several blockbuster trades in an attempt to contend, though it failed spectacularly. Preller and his staff have focused on rebuilding the team's prospect base this year.
Suspending the GM without pay is obviously a very serious and extremely rare punishment. MLB takes these matters very seriously and they came down hard on Preller. The Padres will now be without their GM during the part of the season when they usually begin seriously preparing for the upcoming offseason.