Sitting 12 games under .500, with yet another season apparently void of the playoffs, the San Diego Padres made a move over the weekend.
According to a release from the team on Sunday, the Padres fired general manager Josh Byrnes. The announcement happened just minutes prior to the team’s final game in a three-game home set with the Los Angeles Dodgers; San Diego lost the finale 2-1 before heading off to San Francisco to begin a three-game road trip Monday evening in the Bay Area.
As noted by Padres President and CEO Mike Dee, senior vice president for baseball operations Omar Minaya and assistant general managers AJ Hinch and Fred Uhlman, Jr. will share Byrnes’ role until a permanent replacement is named.
”This ownership group is committed to fielding a team that consistently competes for postseason play,” Dee stated. ”Thus far this season, the results on the field have been mixed at best and clearly have not lived up to expectations. After a lengthy evaluation of every facet of our baseball operations, we have decided to make this change today.”
Byrnes previously oversaw Arizona fortunes
Byrnes was hired by the Padres as their senior vice president for baseball operations at the end of 2010 after he was released as general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he was halfway through an eight-year deal. He was promoted 10 months later to GM and was given a five-year contract.
After finishing with 76-86 records in his first pair of seasons in San Diego, the Padres are 32-44 and 13 1/2 games back in the NL West. They sat as of Sunday evening barely in front of the last-place D’backs (32-47).
Among the moves made during Byrnes’ tenure as GM, he traded first base prospect Anthony Rizzo (currently 15 home runs, 42 RBI’s, batting .278) to the Cubs for starting pitcher Andrew Cashner (currently 2-6 in 12 starts), and he dealt starting pitcher Mat Latos for infielder Yasmani Grandal, catcher Yonder Alonso, and right-handers Edinson Volquez and Brad Boxberger.
Byrnes also acquired starter Tyson Ross, right-hander Joaquin Benoit, closer Huston Street, outfielder Carlos Quentin and right-hander Ian Kennedy.
Ross leads the pitching staff with six wins, while Street has saved 20 games this season in 28 appearances.
Meantime, Quentin is a good example of a bust to date, hitting a mere .200 with three home runs and nine RBI’s in 75 plate appearances. Quentin, who was signed a couple of years back to a $27 million, three-year deal, could very well end up in the American League as a DH before the season is over.
While Byrnes should not get all the blame for the team’s poor performance the last two seasons, it was likely either he go or manager Bud Black.
Given San Diego’s struggles again this season, don’t be surprised to see Black not back in a Padres uniform for the 2015 season.