LOS ANGELES -- The Padres interviewed their eighth -- and, possibly, their most intriguing -- candidate for their general manager vacancy on Friday, Kim Ng, who is currently the senior vice president of baseball operations for Major League Baseball.
Ng would become the first female general manager of any major professional sport.
Ng broke into professional baseball with the White Sox in 1991 and later joined the Yankees, where she became the assistant general manager in 1997. She held the same role with the Dodgers, beginning in 2001.
Ng previously interviewed for general manager openings with the Dodgers, Angels and Mariners, as well as the Padres in 2009, when the job that went to Jed Hoyer. Ng left the Dodgers in 2011 for her current post with Major League Baseball.
The team already has interviewed former Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest, Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting Logan White, D-backs scouting director Ray Montgomery, Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler, Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller, Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen and Padres assistant general manager Josh Stein.
Executive chairman Ron Fowler and team president and CEO Mike Dee have conducted the interviews. The team will have a second round of interviews for the finalists, a group that likely would not exceed four. Fowler said Friday by email that he hopes to have someone hired by early August.
The list of GM candidates could see additions and subtractions.
Six candidates have declined to be interviewed, the latest being current Padres assistant general manager A.J. Hinch, who is presiding over the day-to-day operations of the big league team.
"I assessed everything and looked at a lot of things and it wasn't the right situation," Hinch said on Friday before the Padres' game at Dodger Stadium. "They'll find the right leader for them and move the organization forward."
Hinch met Thursday with Fowler, Dee and lead investor Peter Seidler.
"We had a good conversation on a lot of topics and I wished them well," Hinch said.
Hinch said it's status quo for him, working closely with manager Bud Black and being the point man for all trade discussions leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"I have what I feel is a big responsibility I'm handling," Hinch said. "That hasn't changed."
Five others also have declined interviews: David Forst of the A's, Mike Chernoff of the Indians and Jason McLeod of the Cubs, Michael Girsch of the Cardinals and Padres senior vice president of baseball operations, Omar Minaya.
Forst, Chernoff and Girsch are assistant general managers. McLeod, who previously worked for the Padres, is the Cubs' scouting director.