The San Diego Padres hired Bob Melvin to a three-year contract as their new manager Thursday, adding one of baseball’s most respected figures after the Oakland Athletics granted him permission to interview for the position, sources told ESPN. .
Melvin, who turned 60 on Thursday, won three American League West titles in his 11 years as Oakland manager, after previous stops as helmsman for the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks. His career record, in 18 years coaching, is 1,346-1,272.
The Padres fired manager Jayce Tingler after a disastrous 79-83 record in 2021. After entering the season in hopes of competing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, the Padres collapsed in the second half and they let Tingler go after two seasons.
Melvin inherits a talented team led by star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and third baseman Manny Machado. The Padres return most of their core, which includes infielder Jake Cronenworth, center fielder Trent Grisham, second baseman Adam Frazier and a solid starting rotation of Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove. His deep bullpen is the kind of strength Melvin could exploit, having done it with a team of Athletics they perpetually outperform.
His tenure in Oakland was a great success after his tenure in Seattle and Arizona that ended in disappointment. With the Athletics, Melvin developed a reputation for handling players as well as a great strategist, and in a division where his team often had the lowest payroll, he found consistent success.
Melvin was not among the known candidates for the San Diego job, which included former New York Mets helmsman Luis Rojas and former Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén. Despite exercising an option for Melvin in 2022, Oakland allowed him to interview San Diego, and he will leave without compensation returning to the Athletics, ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez reported.
The perpetually aggressive Padres under general manager AJ Preller have already hired pitching coach Ruben Niebla of the Cleveland Indians this offseason to serve on their staff. Melvin’s acquisition fits his hopes for a speedy recovery from a troubled 2021 season, in which performance issues and clubhouse problems torpedoed his hopes of winning the franchise’s first World Series.
San Diego’s rise began with the signing of Machado and the star trade of Tatis Jr., the 22-year-old who earlier this year signed a 14-year, $ 340 million contract. Between their left side of the infield, talented young position players and a pitching staff bolstered by trades for Darvish, Snell and Musgrove, the Padres were looking to capitalize on their playoff appearance in the COVID-shortened 2020 season with a break in 2021.