Padres General Manager A.J. Preller was suspended Thursday without pay for 30 days by Major League Baseball over a controversial trade with the Boston Red Sox.
The Padres had no immediate comment on Preller’s suspension, which followed an investigation into the July 14 transaction in which pitcher Drew Pomeranz was sent to the American League team, according to a statement from the commissioner’s office.
According to previous reports, Red Sox officials discovered after the trade that Pomeranz had been receiving medical treatment, and that the Padres had not been fully entering player health data in a central database, which would give them an advantage in trade talks.
Pomeranz was an All-Star for his strong first half of the season in San Diego, but has compiled a won-loss record of 2-5 in 11 starts in Boston, with an earned-run average of 4.60.
MLB’s statement on AJ Preller https://t.co/opSuilnmlQ
— Marty Caswell (@MartyCaswell) September 15, 2016
The trade was one in a flurry before baseball’s nonwaiver trading deadline in which Preller tried to remake a faltering organization and inject talented youth into the minor league system. The Padres also made a splash with several signings of international players.
Pitcher Colin Rea, who was sent to Miami in July in a multi-player deal, was returned to the Padres after he suffered an elbow injury in his first start with the Marlins. The Padres had to give up Luis Castillo, a prized minor league pitcher considered to be a top acquisition in the trade.
Preller was previously suspended while working as the head of international scouting for the Texas Rangers, for talking to an agent about a player suspended for lying about his age and identity. He’s completing his second season as the Padres’ GM.
Early reaction locally and around the league:
A.J. Preller will probably use the money the Padres save by not paying him for a month to sign another international prospect.
— Ben Higgins (@BenHigginsSD) September 15, 2016
Preller also apparently withheld information from the Marlins and Braves that Andrew Cashner and Matt Kemp aren’t actually any good.
— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) September 15, 2016
Going forward, how can Preller get best value in trades when his counterparts will all be suspicious what they’re getting back? #Padres
— Jeff Lasky (@10NewsLasky) September 15, 2016
30 days without pay is something Preller can handle I imagine. Having 29 GMs not trusting him at all is a greater penalty on the Padres.
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) September 15, 2016
The crazy thing is, in my 30+ years of being a Pads fan I don’t think this Preller story cracks the top 10 of embarrassing moments
— Jeff Dotseth (@jeffdotseth) September 15, 2016
If we got Gucci outta prison we can get AJ Preller unsupended. #FreePreller
— Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) September 15, 2016
— City News Service contributed to this report.