Posted on September 21, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine
It took until just over a week left in the regular season, but we finally have the first managerial firing of the 2019 season. The unfortunate winner of competition is San Diego Padres skipper Andy Green. The Padres parted ways with Green on Saturday, concluding a nearly four-year tenure with the club that consisted of nothing but losing seasons. Bench coach Rod Barajas will finish out the rest of the regular season as the interim manager.
“I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons,” Padres GM A.J. Preller said in the statement. “This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.”
The Padres have been in the midst of a rebuilding process throughout Green’s tenure with the team. However, this was the first season that the Padres expected to see tangible progress. Things started promising in San Diego, as the Padres were 45-45 at the all-star break. But the team hit a wall in the second half of the season and appeared to regress.
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Heading into Saturday, the Padres are 16 games under .500, 30 games off the pace in the NL West and 15 games out of a Wild Card spot. The Padres, without a strong finish, could end up with 90 losses on the season, doing so for the fourth consecutive year. Green finishes his time as manager with a record of 274-366, giving the Padres the fourth-lowest winning percentage in the majors since the start of the 2016 season.
“We feel like we’ve got a young talented group that has a chance to be competitive,” said Preller. “We made some progress in the earlier part of season, but as the second half went on, we didn’t see the team getting into a spot where we could see continual improvement. We feel like a different person in that chair has a chance to take a young, talented group into a different spot.”
After his first two seasons in charge, Green was given a contract extension through the 2021 season. That means he was under contract for two more years. However, given the setback the Padres have experienced during the second half of the season, the club decided that Green’s not the right person to continue leading what is a talented young roster and one of the best farm systems in baseball.
In addition to having young, rising stars like Fernando Tatis Jr., Manuel Margot, Francisco Mejia, and others, the Padres have spent big in free agency the last few seasons. San Diego signed Eric Hosmer to a long-term deal prior to the 2018 season. They did the same with Manny Machado this past offseason. Will Myers is also signed to a long-term deal that includes a huge pay raise starting next season. Having those veterans as the core of the team only raised expectations in 2019 and ultimately made it more difficult to retain Green given the team’s record.
Where the Padres go with their managerial search remains to be seen. It’s also unclear why they didn’t wait another week to part ways with Green. In any event, several more managerial firings are expected at the end of the regular season. That could put new candidates on the market but also add to the list of teams competing over top candidates. The only thing we know for sure is that San Diego’s new manager will be expected to win and compete for a playoff spot right away. On the bright side, whoever that person is will have no shortage of talent on the roster.