5 MLB front office shakeups that could happen in 2022

Jul 27, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom talks with the media before a game against the Cleveland Guardians at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 27, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom talks with the media before a game against the Cleveland Guardians at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /
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A.J. Preller alongside troubled shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
A.J. Preller alongside troubled shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

2. San Diego Padres

A.J. Preller may be baseball’s best known front office executive. Named GM of the Padres in August of 2014, he was elevated to President of Baseball Ops in 2021, and is now working on an extension through 2026.

That extension may be what saves Preller, who at some point has to deliver results. In recent seasons Preller has signed, extended or traded for megastars of the stripe of Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Yu Darvish, and Fernando Tatis, and presided over a more than doubling of the team payroll from $90 million when he took over to more than $210 million today.

What’s all of that sturm und drang gotten the Padres? It’s gotten them exactly one COVID-inspired playoff series in 2020, a series they were swept out of in three straight games by their arch-nemeses, the Dodgers.

With one of the most talked-about teams in 2021, the Padres collapsed down the stretch and missed the postseason entirely. Three quarters of the way through 2022, they are well-positioned to reprise that 2021 collapse.

It’s obviously unfair to blame Tatis’ self-inflicted 2022 wounds on Preller. But it was Preller’s call to lock Tatis up through 2034 … how smart does that decision look now? And what of Eric Hosmer, Blake Snell, Wil Myers, Garrett Richards, and a host of other high-profile deals which — with the singular exception of Machado — haven’t really worked out?

If the Padres do collapse again, the only thing  that would save Preller would be his own job security, namely that extension he wangled out of team owner Peter Seidler a few years ago. Then again, thanks to Preller, Seidler is already paying Hosmer nearly $40 million to not play ball for him through 2025. In that sense, the cost of unloading an expensive and ineffective team president may be worthwhile.