- David Zalubowski/AP
Major League Baseball has announced the suspension of San Diego Padres Geneal Manager A.J. Preller for 30 days without pay following the investigation into a trade the team recently made with the Boston Red Sox.
Earlier, Buster Olney of ESPN reported that MLB had been investigating the Padres for intentionally concealing medical information on their players from both the league and from potential trade partners.
According to the report, multiple sources told ESPN that the Padres have maintained two separate files of medical information on their players, one for their own internal use and one that was shared with the league database.
Olney goes on to explain that team trainers were instructed to only post information to the MLB database if it related to a player who went on the disabled list. Any injuries or preventative treatments were reportedly only added to the Padres’ own internal system and were not shared with other teams or the league.
Two recent trades appear to be at the heart of the investigation.
In one trade in July, the Padres traded pitcher Colin Rea to the Marlins. During Rea’s first appearance with the Marlins he experienced elbow discomfort. According to Olney, the Marlins only learned at that point that Rea had been receiving treatment “for weeks” prior to the trade.
In a second trade in July, the Padres sent pitcher Drew Pomeranz to the Red Sox. Sources with the Red Sox told Olney that they found out after the trade that Pomeranz had been receiving some preventative treatment.
Olney reports that Padres trainers were specifically told in spring training that the team would benefit by hiding the information from other teams.
“According to the two sources with direct knowledge of the meetings, the athletic trainers were told that by splitting the medical files into two categories, the Padres would benefit in trade discussions.”
The Padres also reportedly had far fewer injuries reported than other teams.
“According to sources, the Padres reached midseason with dramatically fewer medical entries on their players. An average number of entries for a given team might be in the range of 60 by the All-Star break. The Padres had fewer than 10, according to a source.”
Preller had previously been suspended by MLB. In 2010 when he was with the Texas Rangers he was suspended for violating MLB rules that pertain to signings of international players.
It is unclear at this point what type of discipline the Padres are facing if MLB does indeed determine that the team violate league rules.