San Diego Padres

Melvin remaining Padres manager, ending Giants union speculation

President of Baseball Operations A.J. Preller and manager Bob Melvin will be back with the Padres for the 2024 Major League Baseball season despite the team's disappointing 2023 season

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Bob Melvin will be back for a third season as San Diego Padres manager, said A.J. Preller, who also will return for a 10th season as the team's president of baseball operations and general manager.

Preller confirmed the decision regarding Melvin during a Wednesday news conference.

"Bob is our manager, and he's going to be our manager moving forward," Preller said. "Both he and I are very excited about the challenge of getting this group back to the post-season next year."

Melvin remaining with the Padres puts to rest speculation that the Giants might pursue him as their next manager after firing Gabe Kapler last week.

After drastically underachieving in the 2023 MLB season, there were rumblings that either Preller and/or Melvin might not return next season, but Preller quickly squashed that line of thinking with his comments.

Preller and Melvin's relationship has come under fire in recent weeks, with adjectives like "strained" and "a civil war" being used to describe it, but when asked about his relationship with the skipper, Preller downplayed media reports

"From my standpoint, a lot's been overblown," Preller said.

Preller went on to call his relationship with Melvin "open and collaborative," adding that, in recent days, he and Melvin have had positive talks and that Melvin is "excited" for next season. Preller said there has not been an extension to Melvin's initial three-year contract as Padres manager.

The 61-year-old Melvin has managed 20 big league seasons, the last two in San Diego. After an 89-73 record in his initial Padres season, the team dropped to 82-80 this season.

Since taking over in 2014, Preller has presided over just three winning seasons, one being the COVID-shortened 2020 season. The most recent 2023 season was expected to be one of Preller's best Padre teams, however it fell far short of expectations.

The Padres entered the season with World Series expectations after playing in the National League Championship Series last fall and then increasing its payroll to around $250 million, the third highest in baseball.

What actually happened on the field was one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. The team struggled to play consistent, winning baseball, compiled a record just two games over .500 and missed out on a playoff berth. It took a strong run during the final weeks, mostly against four of the worst teams in the Majors, including three 100-loss teams, for the Padres to get back above .500 for the first time since early May.

Preller said the team has not established a payroll number for next season but would "love" to keep free-agent pitcher and likely National League Cy Young winner Blake Snell.

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