Dec 12, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Texas Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller talks during the Rule 5 Draft during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. The Texas Rangers chose Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks in the draft. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Padres announce Rangers' Preller as new GM, Assistant GM Hinch resigns

According to a report by FOXSports’ Ken Rosenthal the San Diego Padres have picked their new general manager. The winner is current Texas Rangers’ assistant General Manaager A.J. Preller. Preller beat out Yankees’ assistant General Manager Billy Eppler, who was considered by most to be the front runner for the position. Early reports did not say that Preller had accepted the offer but he has now.

According to CBSSports’ Jon Heyman:

a.j. preller, padres agree on 5-year deal. @Evan_P_Grant 1st said they agreed today. http://t.co/P3nJbfnjHK

Bleacher Report’s Tim Keeney gives us Heyman’s direct report,

“Rangers executive A.J. Preller has accepted a five-year deal to become general manager of the Padres, sources said. There are still working on finalizing things, but there is an agreement.”

It’s been six weeks since the Padres fired GM Josh Byrnes and a seemingly tireless search is finally over.

Preller, 36, was just promoted to asssistant GM of the Rangers in just November but he has been with the organization since 2004. He is credited with most of the organizations international signings and the state of their stellar farm system that was ranked No. 2 by Baseball Prospectus last year. It dropped to No. 9 this season due to the loss of big name prospects, like Jurickson Profar and Martin Perez, who were called up to the big leagues.

Preller has, according to Bleacher Report, been a large part of the Rangers recent successes like their two American League Pennants in two years. Obviously the team has fallen this season but that is almost solely due to an extremely high number of season-ending injuries.

Ranger’s GM Jon Daniels was quoted by T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com as saying of Preller,

“A.J. and Mike (Daly) have been instrumental in this franchise’s success over the last several years, especially when it has come to scouting and bringing quality players into the organization. These promotions to more responsibilities on the player-development side are well-deserved and will make us a stronger organization, further strengthening the bonds between player development and scouting, as well as the Major and Minor Leagues.”

Preller is young and will have quite a job rebuilding the Padres who are currently sitting at 51-61 but with his international ties and eye for talent he can likely handle the job while keeping the budget down. It’s the Rangers, however, who will have a tougher job replacing him.

Padres assistant GM Hinch resigns

Padres assistant GM A.J. Hinch resigned Tuesday, effective immediately, as news was surfacing that the Padres had picked Preller as their candidate for the GM position. This move was not unexpected as he took himself out of the running to replace fired GM Josh Byrnes back in July.

Hinch stayed on to help with the trades of Huston Street to the Los Angeles Angels and Chase Headley to the New York Yankees.

Hinch will be looking for another job in baseball according to ESPN.com and it appears both the Padres and Rangers will be looking for a new assistant GMs.

Tags: A.J. Hinch A.J. Preller San Diego Padres Texas Rangers

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