With their win in the regular-season finale, the San Diego Padres were able to eke out a winning campaign for 2023 at 82-80. Still, the team's work this season stands as perhaps the most disappointing of any MLB club in 2023. That's because the Padres came into this season with the highest payroll of any team not based in New York and with a roster stuffed with stars like Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Xander Bogaerts.
That the Padres missed the playoffs and finished 18 games back of the division-winning Dodgers led to assumptions that sweeping changes would be made. However, owner Peter Seidler on Monday released a statement that suggests general manager A.J. Preller and manager Bob Melvin are safe, at least for now. Seidler's statement reads:
"We entered 2023 with expectations that we would build on last year's NLCS appearance and contend for a World Series Championship. We fell short of that goal. The Padres organization will learn from this season and emerge in 2024 with the pieces in place to compete for San Diego's first World Series title. Our current leadership team continues to have my full support, and I have asked them to perform a thorough assessment of our organization, beginning today. We will make the changes necessary to play championship-caliber baseball for our extraordinary fans in 2024."
There are different ways to parse such a statement light on specifics, but the "current leadership team" presumably refers to Preller and Melvin. Changes beneath the, whether it be coaches or front-office support staff, may not be so safe depending on what comes out of the internal assessment that will take place.
It's certainly not a set of reactionary words from Seidler, which must have been tempting given the scale of the team's failures. As we detailed not long ago, however,, which in turn makes keeping those aforementioned star players in place for 2024 an entirely defensible approach and one that's likely to yield better results.
The winter to come may yet entail some roster upheaval for San Diego ---- but it doesn't sound like sweeping changes to the team's lead decision-makers, whether in the dugout or the luxury box, will be forthcoming.