SAN DIEGO–The San Diego Padres have extended the contract of Executive Vice President and General Manager A.J. Preller through the 2022 season, Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and Managing Partner Peter Seidler said Sunday.
Preller, 40, was originally named executive vice president and general manager of the Padres on August 6, 2014. During his three-plus years with the club, he has overseen the acquisition of a significant level of talent that has bolstered the club’s farm system rating from No. 20 to No. 3 in Major League Baseball, according to MLB.com. Preller was instrumental in recent trades which yielded players such as Wil Myers, Manuel Margot and Carlos Asuaje, as well as top prospects Fernando Tatis Jr. (No. 51 on MLB.com’s Top 100 list), Anderson Espinosa (No. 71) and Josh Naylor. He spearheaded a flurry of international signings over the last two years, including left-hander Adrian Morejon (No. 68), righty Michel Baez (No. 93) and outfielder Jorge Oña. Additionally, Preller has been successful in recent drafts, selecting right-hander Cal Quantrill (No. 37) with his top pick in 2016 and lefty MacKenzie Gore (No. 24) with the third overall pick in 2017. He also hired manager Andy Green on October 29, 2015, and claimed closer Brad Hand off waivers from the Miami Marlins in 2016.
“A.J. is a tireless worker who possesses one of the brightest minds in the game. We have no doubt that he is the right man to lead our baseball operations group into the future,” Fowler and Seidler said in a joint statement today. “Over the last few years, A.J. and his staff have laid the foundation to transform our minor league system into one of the best in baseball, and we’re beginning to see the fruits of their labor at the Major League level. We are all committed to a common vision of building from within to bring a World Series Championship to San Diego.”
“I’d like to thank Ron and Peter for their continued support of baseball operations,” Preller said. “I’m extremely optimistic about the direction of our Club and I’m excited to continue building toward a perennial contender in San Diego.”
A native of Huntington Station, N.Y., Preller graduated Summa Cum Laude from Cornell University in 1999. He began his baseball career with an internship for the Philadelphia Phillies before working in MLB’s labor relations department. Preller then spent three years in the baseball operations department of the Los Angeles Dodgers before holding a variety of positions with the Texas Rangers for over a decade, including his role as Assistant General Manager under Jon Daniels.