Padres manager Andy Green answered questions at FanFest in 2017. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego Padres fired manager Andy Green after four seasons, the team said Saturday morning.

In a statement, A.J. Preller, the team’s executive vice president and general manager thanked Green for his contributions to the team.

“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,” Preller said. “Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.”

Green compiled a 274–366 record with the Padres after being named the 19th manager for the team after the 2015 season.

They had a 69-85 record under his leadership this season and are in 4th place in the National League West, trailing the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

They never finished better than fourth during his tenure as manager nor did they make the playoffs. The Padres have not finished with a record above .500 since the 2010 season.

The Padres failed to live up to expectations this season following the signing of free-agent star Manny Machado, the excitement generated by rookie phenom Fernando Tatis Jr.  and the performance of All-Star reliever Kirby Yates.

After going 45-45 to begin the season, and showing signs at the All-Star break of becoming a long-shot contender for a wild-card spot, the team slipped out of contention with a dismal 24-40 second half.

Bench coach Rod Barajas will take over as manager for the remaining eight games of the season, including Saturday’s game at at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and General Partner Peter Seidler issued a joint statement, saying, “Andy’s class, dignity and leadership through a difficult developmental period for our team should be applauded. On behalf of the entire Padres organization, we wish Andy and the Green family the best.”

The team also may be looking for someone who can better guide its youth movement. The Padres have the top-ranked group of prospects in baseball , a sign that more Major-League ready talent will follow Tatis.

– Staff reports