White feels right at home in Padres' front office

Veteran executive reunites with Preller, Welke after 13 years with the Dodgers

White feels right at home in Padres' front office

SAN DIEGO -- Even with the changes to the Dodgers' front office, Logan White still had a place with the team as the vice president of amateur scouting and was looking forward to working with new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

But when Padres executive vice president and general manager A.J. Preller offered White a position with San Diego as special advisor to the GM and director of pro scouting -- and with the chance to work with his mentor, Don Welke -- White just couldn't turn it down.

"I couldn't pass it up," White said on Wednesday. "Andrew was such a class act through all of this. As I told him, with the timing, in a different time and a different place, I think that we would have worked great together. And I have so much respect for [Dodgers president and CEO] Stan Kasten. I would not have left the Dodgers for any other job.

"But it meant the world that [Preller] thought of me for this and that he trusts me. And there was also the appeal of working with Don Welke, who was a mentor of mine. He's the guy who helped me get my job with the Dodgers in the first place."

After spending the past 13 years with the Dodgers, White has spent the past three days hunkered down in meetings at the team's Spring Training facility in Arizona with Preller and members of the Padres' baseball operations and player development staffs.

It's a reunion of sorts for White, 51, who was the Padres' West Coast scouting supervisor from 1993-95 under Joe McIlvaine and Randy Smith -- who is still with the team as a senior advisor -- and a chance to work again with Preller and Welke.

Welke, who turned 72 last month, is a renowned scout who has previously worked for the Blue Jays, Dodgers, Reds, Royals and Orioles before his stint with the Rangers, with whom he worked with Preller. Welke scouted for the Blue Jays under Pat Gillick when the team won back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and '93.

White and Preller joined the Dodgers in 2003 and share the same mentor in Welke, who was Preller's first hire as vice president of scouting operations with the Padres.

White actually interviewed in July for the Padres' vacant general manager opening, the job that ultimately went to Preller.

"When I interviewed then, I was very impressed with [team president and CEO] Mike Dee, as well as the ownership group. And while you're disappointed that you didn't get the job, a big part of me was hoping that A.J. would. There's really a great trust and friendship there. That appeal was huge to me."

White's time with the Dodgers included stints as director of amateur scouting, assistant GM of scouting, assistant GM of international scouting and, for the past two years, vice president of amateur scouting, making his mark presiding over several notable drafts that saw the Dodgers select Clayton Kershsaw, Matt Kemp and Russell Martin, among others.

"[The Dodgers] brought in a lot of good talent at that time and a lot of top-end talent," Preller said. "That's a testament to Logan and his staff."

However, White's duties with the Padres won't involve the First-Year Player Draft. In addition to running San Diego's pro scouting department, he will head the team's player acquisition efforts on the Major and Minor League levels.

"He'll be involved in pro deals, trades, acquisitions, the Rule 5 [Draft], our big league club, our prospects and anything involving our big league club," Preller said. "That will be his main focus."

White said he welcomes this new challenge.

"They have a good and capable [scouting] director in Billy Gasparino," White said. "In this capacity, I will work close with the GM -- day to day, in an advisory role; going over the waiver wire, trades, all the things that come up from the pro department. That was something I like, the ability to be more involved with A.J.

"But more than anything, I just wanted to come over here and help."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.