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Assistant GM Hinch decides to leave Padres

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Assistant general manager and vice president A.J. Hinch will be leaving the Padres, the team announced on Tuesday. San Diego is in the midst of a search for a new general manager after dismissing Josh Byrnes on June 22, and Hinch said he would like to pursue other opportunities.

Hinch, who joined the Padres as vice president of professional scouting in September 2010, issued a statement as part of an official press release.

"During my time in San Diego, I dedicated myself to do everything I could to help this team win, in the short-term and for the long-term. These last several weeks were no exception," said Hinch. "I think the organization is ready for a transition and I've made a decision and told [executive chairman] Ron Fowler and [team president and CEO] Mike Dee that now is the right time for me to move on.

"I'm proud to have always operated in the best interest of the organization and to have established long-lasting relationships with people who work on and off the field in San Diego. I wish the Padres and the new GM well in the future and look forward to the next chapter of my baseball career."

Fowler issued a statement thanking Hinch.

"I want to thank A.J. for his hard work and commitment to the Padres over the past four years," he said. "He has represented the organization well, and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."

When Hinch was hired by former general manager Jed Hoyer, the professional scouting department had five scouts. Under Hinch, and with the support of ownership, the department grew to 10.

The following year, Hinch was promoted to assistant GM, the position that he continued to hold until his departure on Tuesday.

After the team dismissed Byrnes, Hinch not only handled the day-to-day operations of the team but became the point man for trade discussions.

In all, Hinch presided over three deals before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, including trades that sent All-Star closer Huston Street to the Angels and third baseman Chase Headley to the Yankees. The team also traded outfielder Chris Denorfia to the Mariners.

"Going through the change, I got a great appreciation for the people here [on the baseball operations staff]," Hinch told MLB.com on Tuesday. "Everyone absorbed responsibilities to get us to the finish line.

"I was proud of the results that we produced."

So what's next for Hinch? He isn't sure. He has been a player, a manager with the D-backs and held just about every front-office job there is.

"It's a fresh start for me and my family," Hinch said. "I've seen this game from nearly every level now, and it's been good to me and given me an appreciation for every job and every challenge."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

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