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

San Diego Padres name Rangers assistant as their General Manager

Texas Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller has been picked to be the next general manager of the San Diego Padres. This is a huge loss for Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers, but a great opportunity for Preller.

There hasn’t been any official word if Preller, who is 36, has accepted the job yet, but it is expected he’ll accept the offer.   A.J. Preller was going up against the New York Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler. Over the years with the Texas Rangers he has served in various roles.  He has served as the Senior Director of Player Personnel.  Under that role he was in charge of acquiring players for the team.  He was in charge of the team’s scouting operations that included amateur, professional and international scouts.

He has traveled the world to keep tabs on every players the organization has and is said to rarely rest.   To help him with is travels and player relationships he is fluent in Spanish. Texas Rangers fans can thank him for finding and helping bringing players such as Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Alexi Ogando, Cliff Lee and Yu Darvish to the team. A.J.Preller was a huge part of the reason the Texas Rangers were able to build a championship team in 2010 and 2011.  He continues to say that the team is a top contender and will win it some day.  

Now the San Padres hope to take full advantage what he’s learned over the years with the Texas Rangers and apply it to their club. Many have said that Preller is one of the best if not the best person in baseball to find talent.  To me that means if you think Billy Beane is good at finding players, then you haven’t seen anything yet.  Now that A.J. Preller has his own team, he’ll be able to commit the necessary resources to build a team his way.  The Padres won’t turn it around over night, it took years for the Texas Rangers, but they’ll eventually be a top club again.

For the Texas Rangers, it means that Jon Daniels not only has lost an assistant general manager, but also a friend in the organization.  Jon Daniels and Preller both attended Cornell.   As much credit as people give Daniels for building this team, at least half of it should go to Preller.  This is a great opportunity for Preller, but a huge loss for the Texas Rangers.

Hopefully over the last few years others have been taking notes and learning from him, but he’s clearly one of the best.  The Rangers do have a solid front office and one of the top farm systems in the league.  With that in place, the impact should not be felt at the moment.  But, if the Rangers don’t continue to scout like they did with Preller, that could spell trouble in the long term.  I don’t expect that to happen though with Jon Daniels in charge.  He’s built the team with smart people from the ground up.

With Preller heading to San Diego, that means current Rangers scout Don Welke is likely the front runner to replace him.

 

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