Just before a Sunday afternoon contest between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, the club announced they would relieve general manager Josh Byrnes of his duties after about two years at the helm.
Since the Byrnes firing, the Padres have interviewed eight candidates for their vacant general manager position. In total, four potential external candidates have elected to withdraw their name from consideration including Oakland Athletics assistant GM David Forst, Cleveland Indians assistant GM Mike Chernoff, St. Louis Cardinals assistant GM Michael Girsch and Chicago Cubs vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod.
Internally, two candidates have declined interviews for the job including vice president of baseball operations Omar Minaya and Byrnes’ former assistant, A.J. Hinch.
Should this lack of interest concern Padres fans?
Quite frankly, yes. Anytime the top two internal candidates within an organization have no interest in being promoted, it is a cause for concern. However, it is quite possible both Minaya and Hinch did not consider themselves serious contenders for the job, and in turn felt inclined to focus their efforts toward finding an external solution. Even if that is the case, that leaves four top MLB executives who did not feel the Padres GM position was worth an interview.
As it stands today, Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting Logan White, Padres assistant GM Josh Stein, Boston Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen, New York Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, Texas Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller, Arizona Diamondbacks scouting director Ray Montgomery, former Miami Marlins GM Larry Beinfest and most recently, MLB vice president of baseball operations Kim Ng have interviewed for the job.
Among those listed, the two names who stand out are Beinfest and Ng.
Beinfest, who served as the Marlins’ GM from 2002-2007 and the president of baseball operations from 2008-2013, brings the most experience to the table. During his tenure in Florida, his most notable roster additions included Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Dontrelle Willis and Anibal Sanchez. In 2003, Beinfest and the Marlins won the World Series despite having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.
Ng is the most compelling candidate and is held in high regard all around baseball. She was an assistant with both the Dodgers and Yankees before her current job as MLB vice president of baseball operations. It is perhaps a bit concerning that Ng has no experience working for a small-market club like San Diego, where there is little room for error as a general manager. Ng would be the first female general manager in the history of MLB.