Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Padres GM A.J. Preller won’t be fired or receive further discipline from the Padres for his role in the club’s dishonest handling of medical reports. Preller was suspended 30 days without pay by Major League Baseball on Thursday.
Preller and the Padres were reportedly systematically misleading with their medical reporting, but the suspension was specifically about the club’s trade with the Red Sox involving Drew Pomeranz. According to a report from ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Red Sox only learned after the transaction was completed that Pomeranz — who underwent shoulder surgery shortly after the season last year — received preventative treatment and that was not reflected in the medical information database shared by all 30 teams.
It’s surprising that the Padres are standing with Preller. He has not done a particularly good job as general manager of the team, having built the team up with big name acquisitions, including Matt Kemp, James Shields, and Justin Upton, only to have to tear it all down. Preller also sent 2014 first-round pick Trea Turner to the Nationals in the Wil Myers trade. The Padres haven’t finished above third place since 2010.
This is also not the first time Preller has gotten in trouble. As noted earlier, Preller was suspended while working with the Rangers for violating baseball’s rules regarding international signings. And shortly after being hired by the Padres, he was reprimanded by Major League Baseball for conducting a workout that went against industry regulations.
Perhaps the most important factor, though, is that teams will be watching over the Padres like a hawk in their future dealings, as Craig pointed out on Twitter. Some teams may not want to do business with them at all, at least not while Preller and anyone else with direct involvement is still handling the Padres’ business. This is not to imply, however, that there aren’t any other GM’s who act in nefarious ways. Many, if not all, do. But no one likes to be screwed over and Preller’s subversion is known and public.