While Padres General Manager A.J. Preller has reshaped the team on the field in his short tenure, he's also done some major reconstruction in the front office. His first big moves were bringing along his mentor Don Welke and poaching Logan White from the Dodgers. Today he hired another notable Dodger, bringing on Hideo Nomo to the baseball operations team. It's another move to strengthen the team's international player recruitment and development, this time with a focus on the Pacific Rim. No, that doesn't mean he'll be piloting a Jaeger and fighting Kaiju. But he's a handy name to to have on your staff when recruiting Japanese players, for reasons MLB.com's Corey Brock makes clear.
Nomo was the first Japanese player to permanently move to Major League Baseball, paving the way for more than 50 other Japanese players to follow. He was inducted into the Japan Hall of Fame in 2014 at the age of 45, the youngest player ever elected.
Preller built his reputation as a savvy player on the international market, and this seems like a smart move in a year where the team is expected to go big on foreign talent.