Padres bring in Boston's Hoyer as new GM

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35-year-old Jed Hoyer, an assistant GM for the Red Sox, will be named the replacement for Kevin Towers in San Diego, according to the Boston Globe and several other sources.
The former Wesleyan University closer earned the gig on his third try, having previously interviewed for openings in Pittsburgh and D.C. He had been with the Red Sox since 2002, and he was briefly one of the people in charge of personnel decisions when Theo Epstein left the team after the 2005 season.
This may well be a better situation for him than the previous potential gigs, though he’ll have to deal with modest payrolls. The Padres do have an advantage in assembling their roster in that their ballpark is so unique. Sure, it will be difficult to lure top hitters to Petco Park, but the Padres aren’t going to be bidding for them very often anyway. San Diego will remain a terrific destination for starters and relievers looking to revive their careers, so the Padres should be focusing more on offense in the draft.
Some will wonder why the Padres didn’t go for someone with more of a scouting background, given that the acquisition of young talent through the draft and Latin America was far and away former GM Kevin Towers’ biggest weakness. However, new CEO Jeff Moorad made it clear he was looking for more of an analyst than a scout in the GM role. Hoyer dealt mostly with major league player acquisitions in Boston, so he’ll be looking elsewhere for help in the scouting department.
Oddly enough, the Padres and Red Sox may end up trading front office personnel here. The Red Sox are known to have offered Towers a position in the organization, and if he accepts, it seems likely that he’d take on some of Hoyer’s responsibilities.

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.

Report: Dexter Fowler will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.

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Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.

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Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.

Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.

Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.