Padres Fire Andy Green

4:35pm: Per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Padres have already formed a list of candidates that they would consider for the manager job. Bruce Bochy, Mike Scioscia, Moises Alou, Ron Washington, and Mark Loretta are all receiving consideration, according to Acee. Of course, that list is surely far from final, and the team won’t rush into a decision, but it’s nonetheless noteworthy to see where the club is looking early in its search for a new skipper.

12:58pm: The Padres have relieved manager Andy Green of his duties, general manager A.J. Preller announced today in an official team release. In Green’s wake, bench coach Rod Barajas will serve as the interim manager for the remainder of the season.

Green’s Padres tenure will reach its conclusion after nearly four years at the helm, a span in which his teams compiled a 274-366 overall record. He had two years remaining on his contract, with Bob Nightengale of USA Today noting that the team will absorb roughly $2.5MM that is still owed to Green.

It’s been a disappointing four years, and while the state of the roster over those years has hardly been a strength, it seems that the front office was hoping for the team to show more signs of positive progress under Green, something that seems to have been lost in the second half of the season.

Green failed to lead the Friars to the postseason in each of his seasons as manager, extending a playoff drought that now dates back to 2006.

Though the team won’t hold an official press conference until later tonight, Preller offered the following words regarding the decision:

I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons.  This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego.  Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.

With Green out of the mix, the door is now open to what figures to be one of the most attractive managerial positions in baseball. Not only will the Padres’ next skipper inherit a bevy of Major League talent that features young stars like Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Chris Paddack, but also one of baseball’s finest farm systems, which could graduate considerable talent to the big-league club in the next couple of seasons. The aforementioned trio could soon be joined by MacKenzie Gore—baseball’s top pitching prospect—and Taylor Trammell, to name just two of the Padres’ top minor-leaguers. Add in an ideal location in San Diego, and the Padres should have their choice of a considerable number of candidates.

This is a Padres team that has seemingly been on the cusp of a breakthrough for the better part of a decade. However, that potential has yet to actualize, with the team failing to win 80 games in each of the last nine seasons. While it’s been easy to preach patience as the Padres wait on promising youngsters to grow into Major Leaguers, many of those top prospects have now made their debuts and expectations are higher than they’ve ever been with Green in the dugout. With the best core of players that the franchise has seen in years, it was no longer an option to fall back on the farm system as a justification for losing. It feels like now is the time to capitalize on the collection of talent in the organization.

Recent actions of the front office have demonstrated exactly that. The high-profile signing of Eric Hosmer prior to 2018 seemed to usher in a newfound sense of urgency in the front office. The following offseason, the Padres doubled down on that aggression and inked Manny Machado to the richest contract in franchise history while also being linked to trade candidates like Trevor Bauer and Noah Syndergaard. While those talks never came to fruition, the team subsequently chose to sacrifice an extra year of team control for top prospects Paddack and Tatis in order to open the season with both phenoms on the active roster.

And after a 45-45 start to the season, it appeared that those decisions were paying off—that the team was not far from finally breaking through. While a .500 record certainly won’t earn a playoff spot, few expected this year—the first with Machado, Tatis, and Paddack—to be the one in which the Padres snapped the streak. Still, the first-half performance was nonetheless a sign that this team was ready to make the jump to contention. However, in the second half, those signs of progress have vanished. With Tatis injured and Paddack limited by concerns over his workload, the team has faltered since the All-Star break, logging a measly 24-40 record.

On the heels of three losing seasons to start his first managing gig, it was no secret entering 2019 that Green was going to be scrutinized heavily by Preller and other decision-makers in the organization, especially given the increased spotlight that landed on the team after the addition of Machado. Evidently, the dissatisfaction with Green finally came to a head with the Padres losing eight of their last nine games. While the complete rebuild in San Diego is not quite over, a change in leadership may ignite the team as it climbs it way out of mediocrity.