SAN DIEGO — A.J. Preller has set the bar high for the Padres — World Series high.
Preller was hired as general manager Wednesday after developing a reputation as a hard-working, hard-charging scouting and player development executive the past 10 years with the Rangers. He has extensive international scouting experience, particularly in Latin America.
Preller, 37, said at his introductory news conference that it was "intriguing to me that the Padres have had some tremendous players over their history, some All-Stars, some Hall of Fame players, some good clubs, but have never won a World Series."
The Padres played in and lost the World Series in 1984 and 1998. Since reaching the playoffs in 2005, they've had only two winning seasons.
"It's a challenge for everyone in the organization, something to look forward to," Preller said.
SELIG CONFIRMS VOTE: Commissioner Bud Selig expects owners to vote next week from a list of three candidates for his successor. "Yes, there will be a vote in Baltimore," Selig said, referring to the owners' meeting next week. The reported finalists for the job are Rob Manfred, MLB's chief operating officer; Tim Brosnan, MLB's executive vice president for business; and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.
STADIUM REMODELING: The Indians plan an extensive renovation of Progressive Field over the next two years, remodeling the 20-year-old downtown ballpark to better connect with their fans. The club intends to make interior and exterior modifications to the area stretching from center to rightfield.
BRAVES: SS Andrelton Simmons was on crutches a day after spraining his left ankle, but manager Fredi Gonzalez said he hopes that the Gold Glove winner will avoid the DL.
CUBS: RH reliever Kevin Gregg had season-ending surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow.
MARLINS: RHP Jarred Cosart, acquired from the Astros at the July 31 trade deadline, was scratched from today's start because of soreness in his left oblique.
WHITE SOX: CF Adam Eaton left with a bruised lower back after running into the fence in the second.