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#MLBFrontOffice: What's next for the San Diego Padres?

The 2015 season hasn't gone quite like Padres general manager A.J. Preller intended. Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres spent last offseason -- and preseason, in a certain reliever's case -- wheeling and dealing, landing some of the biggest names in baseball, from Justin Upton to Craig Kimbrel to Matt Kemp to James Shields. The expectation was that they'd change their consistent pattern of winning only 76 or 77 games per season as they had the prior three years. The end result: no change. This year's team will end up in the same range in terms of victories. The word "disappointing" is an understatement.

The Padres' season got off to a slow start, and by mid-July, it was evident that the team wasn't a juggernaut. Yet when they had a chance to retool at the trade deadline, instead of being active as they were in the offseason, the team decided to stand pat, a decision that raised as many eyebrows as their busy offseason did.

The Padres, who rank 10th in the NL in both ERA and runs scored, now enter this offseason with more questions than answers, and with a thinned-out farm system and limited resources compared to other NL West teams. They're now in a position where probably the only way they can build a contender for next year is by trading some of their most valuable and proven major league assets.

Here is what's next for the Padres:

Objective No. 1: Hire a manager

The Padres fired longtime manager Bud Black on June 15 after the Padres started the season 32-33. He was replaced on an interim basis by Pat Murphy, who will finish the season close to 10 games under .500 . The Padres are simply not a good team, and the records for both managers are more indicative of that than their managerial ability. That said, all indications are that Murphy will not be retained as their permanent manager.

Some of the potential candidates to replace him could include Ron Washington, Alex Cora, Phil Nevin, Eric Wedge, Aaron Boone, Ron Gardenhire, Mark Kotsay and Joey Cora.

Objective No. 2: Say Goodbye to Justin Upton and find a replacement