Bob Melvin

Source: Melvin now Giants manager front-runner as Padres grant interview

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SAN FRANCISCO -- A few days after the Giants fired manager Gabe Kapler, San Diego Padres president of baseball operations A.J. Preller held his end-of-season press conference and announced that Bob Melvin would be back as manager, despite persistent rumors that the two had irreconcilable differences. 

"Bob is our manager, and he's going to be our manager going forward," Preller said at the start of the month. 

The Giants never believed that. 

Sources have said for several weeks that Melvin is the front-runner in the Giants' search for Kapler's replacement, even though he wasn't technically available. That changed Sunday, when The Athletic reported the Giants have requested and received permission to interview Melvin, who was the longtime A's manager before moving down the coast. 

Melvin immediately becomes the top candidate for a job the Giants plan to fill by the start of free agency. He has a longstanding relationship with president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, who was with the A's when Melvin was hired, and he has support at the ownership level, per sources familiar with the search. 

A three-time manager of the year, Melvin will just about complete a tour of the West Coast if takes the Giants job. He started his career with the Seattle Mariners and also has managed the Arizona Diamondbacks, A's and Padres. 

Melvin is a Bay Area native who went to Menlo-Atherton High School and Cal before a lengthy playing career that included three seasons as a catcher for the Giants in the 1980s. The 61-year-old has 1,517 wins as a manager, although he is still looking for his first World Series title. 

The Giants started their search with internal candidates, interviewing Kai Correa, Mark Hallberg and Alyssa Nakken. Their external search has included former big league catchers Stephen Vogt and Jason Varitek, with Nick Hundley turning down the opportunity to interview, per The Athletic

The search will now focus on Melvin, who reportedly did not see eye-to-eye with Preller during a wildly disappointing season for the Padres. Sixteen years after the Giants brought Bruce Bochy up from San Diego, they look poised to repeat the process with another former big league catcher. 

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