San Diego, CA- The San Diego Padres have gained a big addition to their front office and scouting staff today, as Texas Rangers senior special assistant and superscout Don Welke is set join the San Diego Padres front office according to Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News.
According to Grant despite the Texas Rangers placing restrictions on the San Diego Padre’s hiring of front office personnel other than A.J. Preller, the Rangers decided to allow Don Welke, a long-time confidant of Preller’s, to join the San Diego Padres.
Don Welke is one of the most respected scouts in the game with over 40 years of service.
Don Welke worked as a scout for 25 years for Hall of Fame GM Pat Gillick and is credited with helping construct the 1992 and 1993 World Series Champion Toronto Blue Jays. Welke has know Preller for years and in fact hired Preller to his first front office job with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003.
“He is the brightest young guy I’ve ever seen in my 47 years of scouting,” - Don Welke
Don Welke and Preller also worked together for years with the Texas Rangers and were both credited with the Rangers success in Latin America the past few years.
It has been assumed that Don Welke would eventually join Preller in San Diego in the next few years, but I don’t think anyone in baseball expected him to join the Padres this season. This may be a show of respect by the Rangers to Don Welke for all the work he’s done for them over the years.
With the addition of Welke the Padres now have arguably the two best international scouts in major league baseball. With the Padres lack of sucsess in Latin America and overall scouting in general, the addition of such a highly regarded scout in Welke will help the Padres improve the team over the next few years.