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Padres GM Search: The final four candidates

After a first round of interviews the Padres have narrowed the group down to a foursome of potential GMs.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Since the firing of GM Josh Byrnes, the Padres have a number of GM interviews. They put out press releases about 7 candidates who interviewed for the position: Dodgers Vice President of Amateur Scouting Logan White, New York Yankees Assistant General Manager/Pro Personnel Billy Eppler, Texas Rangers Assistant General Manager A.J. Preller, Boston Red Sox Vice President/Assistant General Manager Mike Hazen, San Diego Padres Assistant General Manager Josh Stein and Major League Baseball's Senior Vice President for Baseball Operations Kim Ng. Others have been reported as being interviewed including Former Marlins General Manager Larry Beinfest and Diamondbacks Director of Scouting Ray Montgomery. Now, according to recent reports, the candidates have been narrowed down to a final four that will get a second round of interviews. Here is Fox Sports San Diego and Bleacher Report's Scott Miller reporting just that:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Sources: Finalists for <a href="">#Padres</a> GM job are <a href="">#Rangers</a> Preller, <a href="">#RedSox</a> Hazen, <a href="">#Yankees</a> Eppler &amp; Kim Ng. 2nd interviews expected next week</p>&mdash; Scott Miller (@ScottMillerBbl) <a href="">July 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Beinfest, Logan White, Ray Montgomery &amp; Josh Stein are out of Padres&#39; GM running</p>&mdash; Scott Miller (@ScottMillerBbl) <a href="">July 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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There is also speculation running around about who might be the favorite of the four. ESPN's Jim Bowden weighed in:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>According to a source Mike Hazen remains favorite as next GM of <a href="">#Padres</a> because of relationship with Dee. Then perhaps Towers as Sr. Advisor</p>&mdash; JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) <a href="">July 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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The Miller tweets seemed to be based on fact and reality. Others have reported the same. The Bowden tweet is much more open for interpretation. What source would know that kind of information besides the Padres brass and why would they leak a favorite? Similarly with the Towers rumor, Mike Dee has denied that the ownership would force such a hire, so is Bowden implying that Hazen wants Towers. That seems a bit far fetched as well. So take the speculation with huge amounts of salt.

Actually if you go back to Miller's reporting you might be inclined to think that A.J. Preller could be the favorite:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>A.J. Preller, assistant GM with <a href="">#Rangers</a>, said to have had a fabulous first interview with <a href="">#Padres</a>  for GM job and will interview 2nd time</p>&mdash; Scott Miller (@ScottMillerBbl) <a href="">July 16, 2014</a></blockquote>
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