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Hoyer emerges as leader for Padres GM

Hoyer emerges as leader for Padres GM

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres are close to hiring a new general manager.

According to sources, Boston Red Sox assistant general manager Jed Hoyer is the frontrunner for the job to replace Kevin Towers, who was informed a day before the regular season ended that he wouldn't be retained in 2010.

SI.com cited a "front office source" on Friday in reporting that Hoyer had already been picked for the job. The Web site said the team would name him to the post later in the day, but as of 3 p.m. PT, a Padres spokesperson said no announcement or news conference had been planned.

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Last weekend, Kim Ng, an assistant general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers, had an interview with Padres CEO Jeff Moorad.

Moorad has said he would like to hire a general manager by the start of the World Series, which begins on Oct. 28.

At the request of the candidates, the Padres are being tight-lipped about the candidates who have interviewed for the job.

Hoyer and Ng have interviewed. Billy Eppler, the director of pro scouting for the New York Yankees and a San Diego native, was thought to be a name of potential interest early in the process, though he hasn't been interviewed.

Hoyer, 35, has spent his entire career with the Red Sox. He started there as a baseball operations intern in 2002 and moved up to an assistant in that same office in 2003.

Hoyer and Ben Cherington served briefly as co-general managers of the Red Sox in the fall in 2005, when Red Sox GM Theo Epstein was working through contract issues. Hoyer was calling the shots that fall when the team acquired Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell from the Florida Marlins.

Hoyer interviewed for the Pittsburgh Pirates' general manager opening in 2007 and declined an interview with Seattle in 2008. He was also interviewed for the Nationals' general manager opening this past year before the team hired in-house candidate Mike Rizzo.

While Hoyer's background is in quantitative analysis, he has become more schooled in the ways of Major League transactions, contracts, scouting and player development, essentially making him the hybrid candidate who can balance statistical analysis with a scouting background.

"As we see it, we want every piece of information possible before making a decision," Hoyer said in an interview in 2007. "We have spent a lot of time and energy in developing our quantitative methods, and we certainly use them in making player personnel decisions.

"But we also have a lot of great scouts, and we read their reports and have lengthy conversations with all of them before making decisions. The idea that teams are either 'Moneyball' teams or 'scouting' teams is an incredible over-simplification. You need to have both of those components -- as well as medical and contractual -- to make an educated decision on a player."

Moorad has said on numerous occasions that he has a gentlemen's agreement with his former team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, that he wouldn't interview members from that organization, which would take Jerry DiPoto and Peter Woodfork -- two members of the Arizona front office -- off the table.

One interesting report that circulated Tuesday from various Boston media outlets was that Towers could conceivably take a spot in the Red Sox front office, possibly as a special assistant or in the scouting department, if Hoyer is indeed hired by the Padres.

Towers has said he wants to take some time off before deciding his next move, though he's said that he wants to be a general manager again.

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

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