A.J. Preller. Photo credit: USA Today via Fansided.com
A.J. Preller. Photo credit: USA Today via Fansided.com

The San Diego Padres are set to hold a late afternoon news conference to announce the hiring of a new general manager, formerly of the Texas Rangers, according to news reports.

The team has given Texas Rangers Assistant General Manager A.J. Preller a five-year contract, according to MLB.com, which will stream the 4 p.m. news conference live.

MLB reports that Preller has been with the Rangers organization for 10 seasons and beat out a San Diego native for the Padres post.

Preller is responsible for the team’s player-development and scouting, but the report said Preller distinguished himself by finding top talent in Latin America.

The report says the Rangers have one of the top international programs in the sport, as evidenced by players like Yu Darvish, Rougned Odor, Leonys Martin and Jurickson Profar. MLB says the Rangers’ 40-man roster “has Preller’s fingerprints all over it.”

The Padres fired general manager Josh Byrnes in June, and assistant GM A.J. Hinch resigned Tuesday. According to a tweet by Fox baseball reporter Ken Rosenthal, another assistant GM, Chad MacDonald also will be leaving the Padres.

According to MLB, the Padres interviewed eight candidates quickly after firing Byrnes, then in the last three weeks conducted second interviews with four finalists.

The team, MLB reported, was looking for a general manager who could evaluate talent well and “make inroads in the international market.”

Preller, 36, the report said, started in baseball as an intern with the Philadelphia Phillies, then gained experience at the Major League Baseball level, assisting baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson with player discipline and time-of-game issues and also serving the league’s labor relations department on salary arbitration.

Preller joined the Dodgers 11 years ago as assistant for baseball operations, where he began to gain experience in the international market and scouting.

The Padres’ decision, according to MLB, came down to Preller and Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler, a San Diego native.

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