Firing season for managers got off to an early start Saturday when the San Diego Padres parted ways with Andy Green following four disappointing seasons. The move opened up what could be a highly coveted position while setting into motion what could be a busy offseason of firings and hirings for Major League Baseball teams.

Green, 42, failed to win more than 71 games or finish higher than fourth place in any of his four seasons in San Diego — with the Padres sitting at 69-85 and in fourth place in the National League West with eight games remaining entering Saturday. He still had two years remaining on his contract, but San Diego, despite appearing poised to blossom into a contender, dismissed him anyway.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision,” Padres General Manager A.J. Preller said in a statement, “but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego.”

Though the Padres haven’t made a playoff appearance since 2006 or posted a winning season since 2010, they have a strong big league core — built around phenom shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., superstar third baseman Manny Machado and future ace Chris Paddack — plus a farm system consistently rated among the best in the game. Among the top talents expected to arrive in San Diego soon are left-hander MacKenzie Gore, rated as MLB.com’s best pitching prospect, and outfielder Taylor Trammell.

It remains to be seen whether that will be enough for the Padres to take on the Dodgers, who just secured their seventh straight division title, in the stacked NL West. But the Padres’ ownership has shown a willingness to spend big in that pursuit, signing first baseman Eric Hosmer and Machado to free agent contracts totaling $444 million over the past two winters.

With that in mind, the job in San Diego should be among the most enticing of the six to 10 managerial positions expected to come open this offseason.

Already, the San Francisco Giants will be looking to replace Bruce Bochy, the three-time World Series-winning manager who is retiring at the end of this season. However, there is widespread belief Bochy, 64, will eventually manage again, and San Diego — where he spent five years as a player and 12 more as a manager — would be an enticing spot.

Another big-name manager could be a free agent after this season if the Chicago Cubs, as is widely speculated, dismiss Joe Maddon, whose five-year run with the franchise includes the 2016 World Series title. Maddon and Bochy are believed to be the highest-paid managers in the game in 2019, with salaries of $6 million.

Other teams that could make managerial changes this offseason include the Philadelphia Phillies (Gabe Kapler), New York Mets (Mickey Callaway), Seattle Mariners (Scott Servais), Kansas City Royals (Ned Yost), Pittsburgh Pirates (Clint Hurdle) and Chicago White Sox (Rich Renteria).

But none of those positions will offer the combination of future potential and ownership support that the Padres’ job will. And if that’s not enough, you also get to live in San Diego.

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