SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants have hired manager Bob Melvin away from the division rival San Diego Padres, three people with direct knowledge of the agreement said Tuesday.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither team had made a formal announcement about the move. The Athletic first reported Melvin was the Giants’ choice.
The 61-year-old Melvin will be returning to the Bay Area where he grew up cheering the Giants. He later played for them and then managed the Oakland Athletics from 2011-21. An introductory news conference was planned for Wednesday.
“I’m very excited to work with Bob Melvin,” Giants ace Logan Webb said in a text message Tuesday night. “I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things from everyone that has played for him. Excited to get to meet him, play for him, and learn from him!”
Melvin had one year left on his contract with San Diego but leaves amid reports of friction with general manager A.J. Preller. Melvin managed the Padres for two seasons, reaching the 2022 NL Championship Series but then missing the playoffs this season with a $258 million payroll, the third-highest in the majors. It’s unclear if the Padres will receive compensation.
Melvin, a three-time Manager of the Year who has won the award in both leagues, went 171-153 with the big-spending Padres and will enter his 21st season as a manager next year. He has a career record of 1,517-1,425 with eight postseason appearances while guiding Arizona, Seattle, Oakland and San Diego.
A native of nearby Palo Alto, California, Melvin loves the Bay Area. He attended the University of California-Berkeley and played for his hometown Giants from 1986-88.
Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi had hoped to find a new manager by the start of free agency to replace Gabe Kapler, fired with three days remaining in the season. Kapler was 295-248 over three-plus seasons, leading the team to a franchise-record 107 wins to edge the 106-win Dodgers for the NL West title in 2021 before missing the playoffs the last two seasons.
With Melvin gone, Preller will be hiring his fifth manager since midway through the 2015 season. Perhaps the strongest in-house candidate is Mike Shildt, who was abruptly fired as manager in St. Louis after the 2021 season despite leading the Cardinals to a third straight playoff appearance. He was voted NL Manager of the Year in 2019.
Shildt was hired by the Padres before the 2022 season as a senior adviser to the major league staff and player development department. He filled in as third base coach early in the 2023 season after Matt Williams had colon cancer surgery.
The previous year, Shildt also stepped in as third base coach, first base coach and bench coach due to various medical situations. His work in player development could be an added bonus if he takes over a big league roster led by stars Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts.
Another in-house candidate is Ryan Flaherty, the bench coach/offensive coordinator who was teammates with Machado in Baltimore.
Melvin was the only manager to lead the Padres to a winning record in a full season during Preller’s tenure, doing so twice. Preller’s three previous hires had no previous big league managerial experience.
AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego contributed to this report.
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