Padres extend A.J. Preller through 2022

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12:30 PM ET: The Padres officially confirmed the extension. “I’d like to thank Ron and Peter for their continued support of baseball operations,” Preller said in a press release. “I’m extremely optimistic about the direction of our Club and I’m excited to continue building toward a perennial contender in San Diego.”

Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Padres’ general manager A.J. Preller has been given a three-year contract extension. The extension, which will keep Preller in San Diego through 2022, was reportedly signed by both parties back in October and is expected to be formally announced by the club later today.

Preller was selected for the position back in 2014 and signed an initial five-year agreement that would have taken him through the 2019 season. The move appears to have been accelerated by the three-year extension manager Andy Green signed in August, which will keep the skipper in San Diego’s dugout through 2021.

There have been some notable ups and downs in Preller’s tenure with the Padres, not the least of which was the 30-day suspension he served in 2016 after failing to disclose pertinent medical information in a trade that sent left-hander Drew Pomeranz to the Red Sox. Even that wasn’t enough to scare the Padres away, however, and it appears that they’re willing to stick by Preller as they focus on rebuilding their roster over the next several years.

“As in other business models, when people are doing a good job you tend to want to reward them,” executive chairman Ron Fowler told Lin. “We felt the extension of his contract would show the confidence we have in him. Frankly, people award long-term contracts to players. We feel we should do it with the people running our baseball organization. We think they’re very good. We don’t want them looking over their shoulders as to a contract being over.”

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.