Preller looks to move forward after suspension

Preller looks to move forward after suspension

SAN DIEGO -- Padres general manager A.J. Preller, speaking for the first time since returning from his 30-day suspension last week, said the club has addressed the mishaps that led to undisclosed medical information in a July trade and is looking to move forward.

After dealing left-hander Drew Pomeranz to the Red Sox, Preller was suspended 30 days by Major League Baseball for not providing Boston all relevant medical data before the trade. (The Red Sox were given the chance to reverse that deal, which netted the Padres top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza. They declined.)

Preller stressed that there was never an intent by the Padres to deceive the Red Sox -- or any other organization they've dealt with. He acknowledged that the club didn't enter all necessary data into the league's injury information system, saying it was a "misunderstanding" as to how the information was recorded.

"[Major League Baseball] felt like our medical record keeping wasn't in line with some guidelines, from an administrative standpoint," Preller said. "From an integrity, intent standpoint, at no point in time for myself or anyone in baseball operations was there an intent to deceive. ... It was about the administrative side of things.

"That's something we're going to be very committed to correcting and making sure that obviously will not happen again. We're going to be industry leaders on that front, and we're going to be best in class and at the forefront in making sure that, from an admin standpoint, a reporting standpoint, [we're] following guidelines."

Preller said he has already received calls from numerous organizations since his suspension ended, which should calm any fears that his suspension would create tension with other GMs. He says he hasn't noticed a difference in the responses of other executives since his return.

"We're confident that in terms of medical information and in terms of making sure that clubs have complete information -- that's been addressed and that will not be an issue," Preller said.

Preller, who was hired as Padres general manager in 2014, said he expects an active offseason, even in light of his suspension.

"In the five days since I've come off the suspension, we've had 10 clubs check in with us, had a team that's made trade offers to us," Preller said. "In general, I would expect it to be fairly active. The free-agent market probably isn't quite as strong as it has been in the past. So on the trade front, I think there's going to be a lot of discussions."

Preller also noted that his role in baseball operations hasn't changed since the team parted ways with president and CEO Mike Dee earlier this month. Instead of reporting to Dee, however, Preller now reports directly to ownership.

According sources with the team, that structure is likely to remain in place once the Padres hire a new president. The next team president would oversee the business side of things, while Preller focuses on baseball decisions. And having served his 30-day suspension, Preller says he's ready to move forward.

"I obviously take it very seriously," Preller said. "Your reputation and your integrity is crucial in any walk of life, honestly. ... In all these situations, my biggest thing is what do you take and what do you learn from it. I think that's really where the focus is."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.